Openreach embraces VR to hire engineers across Yorks & Lincs

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Openreach embraces VR to hire engineers across Yorks & Lincs

Openreach is expanding its engineering workforce with plans to recruit more than 70 trainees in the East Midlands and 115 in Yorkshire and the Humber in its drive to improve customer service and invest in the operation of its network.

The local network business, which is part of BT Group, will be seeking recruits from across the region to fill the new, full-time and permanent roles to extend its fibre broadband network, improve customer service and keep the East Midlands and Humber regions connected.

In a ground-breaking approach to recruitment, potential candidates will be able to discover exactly what life as a field engineer involves, with the help of virtual reality (VR).

The company is trialling a VR experience which enables interested applicants to don a headset and experience climbing a telephone pole or exploring the local exchange building in immersive 3D, from the perspective of a real engineer.

New trainees will embark on a tailored 12 month accredited learning programme – including on-the-job experience and culminating with the attainment of an externally recognised qualification for IT, Software and Telecoms professionals.

Richard Hall, Openreach’s director for regional infrastructure delivery in the East Midlands, said: “We know from past experience that the East Midlands is an excellent place to recruit skilled and motivated people, who make great engineers. Openreach is able to offer them a rewarding career in an exciting and fast moving industry.

“The trainee engineers will be playing a vital part in the future success and prosperity of our region. High-speed communications have never been more important for local households and businesses – and will become even more important in the years ahead.”

The 360 degree videos are available to watch on our YouTube channeland can be viewed on any PC, tablet or VR headset. Videos include an engineer’s eye view from the top of a telephone pole, a virtual tour of a telephone exchange and a look inside a green roadside cabinet.

The business also intends to trial them in-person with potential applicants at recruitment roadshows and events throughout the year.