Openreach Northern Ireland celebrates apprentice engineering talent
Openreach Northern Ireland (NI), the region’s largest digital infrastructure provider, has held its first ever Apprentice Awards event at the Bullitt Hotel in Belfast.
Apprentices from across Northern Ireland took part in the ceremony which aimed to shine a light on those individuals who have excelled at what they do. Minister Gordon Lyons attended the event as a guest speaker and was delighted to meet and congratulate the apprentices.
Speaking about the event, Minister Lyons said: “I was pleased to have been able to attend this awards event and to hear at first hand some of the truly inspirational life-changing experiences each person has had during their apprenticeship journey. To get the chance to learn new skills with a company such as Openreach Northern Ireland is a wonderful opportunity, and I would like to add my warmest congratulations to everyone involved.
“Developing the skills of our people right across Northern Ireland is a key priority for me as we work to rebuild our economy and I am determined to keep skills at the centre of our long-term strategic plans. Northern Ireland has an amazing wealth of talent, and I am committed to doing everything within my power to ensure the continued development of an effective skills pipeline which will support the needs of both employers and our economy whilst also providing valuable employment opportunities.”
The rapid expansion of Openreach’s Ultrafast Full Fibre network across the region requires a team of dedicated engineers to drive forward its ambitious build programme to undergo a once in a generation upgrade of the broadband network.
Garret Kavanagh, Director at Openreach NI said at the event: “People are at the heart of our business and as we look to the future, it’s fantastic that we can continue to welcome new team members to help us meet the ever-increasing demand for fast and reliable connectivity.
“That’s why I’m so excited by our apprenticeship programme. It’s an opportunity I would really encourage anyone interested to take advantage of. Open to people from all walks of life, the Openreach apprenticeship offers full training and continued professional development creating not just jobs but careers.
“The graduates from it are world class and we’re delighted to be able to celebrate so many of them here tonight.”
Over the last two years Openreach NI has created 200 new apprenticeship roles. Both school-leavers and those wishing to retrain for a new career are encouraged to come forward and apply for the Openreach apprenticeship programme, with a particular focus on increasing female applications.
Apprentices can expect a great salary, excellent benefits and world class training and support throughout the programme, working alongside experienced engineers. On completion of the apprenticeship, participants are awarded a full-time position and can look forward to a long and successful career as an Openreach engineer.
Along with the recent announcement that the company has committed a further £30 million to the existing £100 million investment in Northern Ireland between 2021 and 2022, recruitment remains open for new apprentice engineers to join the team in Northern Ireland. With Openreach recently recognised as one of the best companies to work for in the UK for the second year running, it’s an exciting time to join the organisation.