Openreach opens doors of Livingston Training School for family fun day


Openreach’s training school in Livingston is throwing open its doors to the public later this month (Sunday 23 June) to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day. The site on Houston Industrial Estate will offer visitors a taste of life as an engineer between 12 noon and 2.30pm.

Openreach’s training school in Livingston is throwing open its doors to the public later this month (Sunday 23 June) to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day.

A family fun day is taking place at the training centre – located on Grange Road just past the junction with Firth Road – from 12 noon to 2.30pm. Local families are being invited along to get a taste of life as an engineer.

It’s the first time the training school has been open to the public since its £485,000 revamp unveiled earlier this year, and organisers have planned a host of fun activities to unleash the engineer in visitors of all ages.

The theme of the day is very much ‘having a go’, with engineering related games, challenges and activities for the whole family – from the dress-like-an-engineer selfie station and tower building to a draw an engineer competition.

There will be ‘show and tell’ sessions to see pole climbing, what’s in an Openreach van and how the internet reaches your house, along with a complementary barbeque from 12-1pm. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic blanket and sit on the grass, weather permitting.

Female engineers will be on hand to talk about their careers and demonstrate some of the high-tech kit they use on a day-to-day basis.

Visitors will also be able to take a stroll down the newly-constructed “Open Street” – a replica street built from scratch at the centre, where engineers practise their skills in a real-life setting.

Openreach organiser Carol Buchanan said: “By the time our children go to school they already have views of which roles are for men and which are for women. To give our kids the best range of opportunities, and to attract lots of talented females to engineering, we need to do our bit.

“We want people to bring their family and friends along to help us spark an interest in engineering with both girls and boys. This Open Day is a great opportunity to come and see for yourself what a career in engineering looks like.”

Edinburgh engineer Emma Hamilton added: “A career in engineering is extremely rewarding and we hope the Open Day will help girls to realise that it’s a realistic option. It’s still a largely male-dominated career but times are most definitely changing.

“Being an engineer for Openreach is a fantastic job and one that I really enjoy. You’re always working with brand new technology which is exciting, and there’s huge satisfaction from fixing complex issues and getting people connected.”

Openreach is working hard to attract a diverse workforce. Last year, more female engineers joined than in previous years. And recruitment of people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds has risen nationally from 11 per cent in 2017 to 17 per cent in 2018.

Openreach employs more than 3,200 people across Scotland, the majority of them engineers, and earlier this year announced a further 220 new recruits during 2019.

Many new recruits are tasked with Openreach’s key aim of delivering ultrafast broadband in homes and businesses across the UK and it was recently announced this programme has been extended to now reach 4 million premises by March 2021.

For more information about Openreach’s work, and career opportunities, visit openreach.co.uk.

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