Broadband infrastructure provider Openreach has joined a campaign creating apprenticeships across Birmingham and Solihull.
The company is now an official employer partner of the Ladder for Greater Birmingham initiative which was launched in 2018 to connect employers and training providers with those seeking an apprenticeship.
Openreach will use the new partnership to support and promote apprenticeships across the two locations. Candidates do not need any formal qualifications to apply for an apprenticeship.
The company, which already employs more than 3,200 people across the West Midlands, recently announced record recruitment with 300 more engineers set to join this year, 230 of whom will be apprentices.
More than 650 of the team are also based at the firm’s new offices at Three Snowhill in Birmingham city centre.
The Ladder for Greater Birmingham campaign launched in summer 2018 with the aim of creating new apprenticeships in Birmingham and Solihull by bringing candidates and training providers together with employers.
We have been supporting the project from day one as media partner and organiser of our annual apprenticeship awards in partnership with the Ladder.
Other stakeholders include Vine Trust, Performance Through People, Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, Birmingham and Solihull Training Provider Network and West Midlands Combined Authority.
This recruitment is largely in support of a huge fibre build which has made full fibre available to more than 600,000 homes and businesses, including a newly announced £21 million investment to extend this network to a further 70,000 premises, mainly in Dudley.
HR resources manager Mark Comerford said: “We’re delighted to be joining Ladder for Greater Birmingham and have enjoyed our initial discussions with the team.
“Openreach plays a significant role in every community across Birmingham and the West Midlands, both in terms of building fibre and employing thousands of people locally.
“Joining Ladder for Greater Birmingham will enable us to work more closely with other businesses and organisations across the city, sharing experience and expertise around apprenticeships.
“It’ll also be a good opportunity to explain a bit more about what we do and how our network has an important role to play.”
Openreach employs a large team of telecoms engineers and professionals across the UK and says it has committed to building a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
Last year, the company attracted more women than ever into trainee engineering roles, thanks partly to employing language experts to transform its job adverts and descriptions to make them gender neutral.
This led to nearly 20 per cent of new recruits in the region being female last year which it said was “a huge jump” compared to previous years.
Kevin Davis, chairman of Ladder for Greater Birmingham, added: “We are delighted to welcome Openreach as an employer partner of the Ladder.
“Although the initiative is for all-size employers, it’s always fantastic when large well-known employers become partners as well-known brands such as Openreach attract interest from stakeholders and individuals, allowing us to showcase the many opportunities available through apprenticeships.
“The fact Openreach is also committed to employing a diverse and inclusive workforce is another reason to champion its apprenticeship opportunities through the ladder.”