Angela officially opened a new fibre training centre in Bolton to educate the next generation of digital engineers to bring vital broadband services to communities across the North West.
Trainees at the centre will test their skills in Open Street – a 770msq replica street built from scratch to recreate the live network in the real world.
At Open Street, engineers can experience a typical working day – from cabling to jointing and repairs, working underground or overhead, climbing telephone poles and installing new services inside customers’ homes.
Around 2,500 new and existing Openreach engineers from across the North of England are expected to train at the centre this year.
Since April 2018 more than 180 new trainee Openreach engineers have been recruited across Greater Manchester. These engineers will be key to delivering the company’s ‘Fibre First’ programme, which aims to bring faster, more reliable and future proof Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology to millions of front doors across the UK.
Angela said:” This fantastic training facility is going to play a major part in training and educating a new generation of engineers, of all ages and from all walks of life.
“The value of being able to learn in a live environment which replicates the real-life scenarios trainees will encounter cannot be underestimated. These trainees will be able to approach their early working days with confidence and get off to a flying start.”
Recruits at the centre will receive comprehensive training – from picking up a job and setting up their working area safely to splicing together hair-breadth fibres or installing or repairing a line. The £1.7m investment includes the replica residential street inside the centre to give recruits a safe, real-life environment to learn and practise aspects of their work.
A live fibre network connects a replica local exchange to two business premises and three residential houses through pavements, ducts, poles and cabinets.