Telecoms network BT Openreach is aiming to boost its customer service following a major recruitment drive in Nottinghamshire.
The drive across Mansfield, Retford and Worksop has seen 17 engineers and apprentices hired to help install new lines and fix faults more quickly.
The new recruits are also working on rolling out fibre broadband to more households and businesses beyond more than 420,000 premises across the county, which already have access to the high-speed technology.
The announcement is the latest in a series of major recruitment drives undertaken by Openreach in the East Midlands in recent years.
It is part of a nationwide initiative which has seen Openreach employ thousands of engineers and hundreds of apprentices across the UK in the last three years.
Clive Selley, Openreach chief executive, said: “Improving the service we provide to customers is my number one priority and these new engineering recruits will be helping us connect more people on time and fix faults faster.
“Openreach is already rolling out superfast fibre broadband and is helping the Government achieve its aim of reaching 95 per cent of UK premises by the end of 2017.
“As we take the UK beyond superfast, many of these engineers will also be helping us get ultrafast speeds to up to 12 million homes by the end of 2020.
“We’re making big investments to build and maintain our network, but we recognise there’s much more to do and we want to attract the very best people to help us on that journey.”
Owen Moody, BT East Midlands director, said: “This latest recruitment represents another major investment by BT in Nottinghamshire as a leading employer and provider of essential services.
“New recruits are now embarking on exciting careers in a fast-moving industry, which is making a major contribution to the future success of the county.
“Already, they are working hard to ensure that local households and businesses get the best possible service whether they have ordered the latest new technology, such as superfast fibre broadband, or simply reported a fault.
“Given our focus on service, we’ve recruited people who can connect with customers and give them a very good experience they’ll remember. In return, they have the opportunity of a fantastic career in a company that’s at the forefront of building the UK’s connected future.”
The business remains keen to further increase diversity in the workforce, including the recruitment of more female engineers. It recently joined forces with other technology firms to create a new mentoring scheme – Step into STEM – which encourages schoolgirls to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics careers.
Openreach publishes regular customer service performance data on its website, showing how it delivers against a range of service targets, including standards set by the regulator, Ofcom.
It has been meeting or exceeding all 60 of Ofcom’s service standards with the latest results showing that 84 per cent of faults are fixed within two working days and 93 per cent of new lines are installed on time. As these measures become tougher each year, the new recruits will help the company continue improving service levels.
A significant number of the jobs have been taken up by ex-service men and women - continuing the company’s long-standing relationship with the UK Armed Forces.