PHONE giant BT has recruited 42 more engineers in the South-West to help build a new high-speed fibre broadband network in the region.

The company is taking on the new recruits in Exeter, Taunton, Plymouth, Bristol and Salisbury.

The successful applicants, who range from mature ex-armed forces personnel to people in their teens and early 20s, are on 18-month fixed term contracts with Openreach, BT’s local network business.

They will be part of the major engineering workforce installing thousands of kilometres of optical fibre and other equipment across the region in support of major super-fast broadband partnerships in Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

The recruits undergo an initial five-week training programme, which includes classroom training, building practical skills at a training centre and ‘buddying’ with experienced engineers.

Jon Reynolds, BT South-West regional director, said: “We’ve been impressed by the high standard of our latest recruits, who come from a wide range of backgrounds and careers.

“They’ve shown a great enthusiasm for the work and the huge benefits this exciting technology is bringing to the South-West.

“It’s skilled, interesting work which will give the successful recruits the chance to gain experience in a fast-paced, constantly evolving industry. They’ll be at the forefront of connecting communities to the future.

“Faster fibre broadband is providing a major boost for households and businesses across the region whether they are using this exciting technology to attract new customers, improve education and skills or browsing the internet for leisure and entertainment purposes.”

Keri Denton, programme director for the Connecting Devon and Somerset partnership, said: “These new jobs are a welcome boost to the job market, providing exciting new career opportunities for people in our area.

“They come as part of our plans for a high-speed broadband network being created in partnership with BT, which will provide a platform for future economic development and regeneration.”

BT’s roll-out of fibre broadband programme has already made the high-speed technology available to around 1.3 million South West homes and businesses.