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Openreach Unveil a State of Art Facility in Peterborough

Leading commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) has unveiled a brand new, state-of-the-art training centre for Openreach broadband engineers.

Located in Peterborough, the training centre comes complete with an entire street scene including offices, shops and homes.

Openreach plans to take on 395 trainees across the East of England as part of a nationwide recruitment drive to find 3,000 trainee engineers.

Leading delivery of the Peterborough project, Dudley Cross, head of office at LSH in Northampton, said: “Following a long history of working with BT, LSH was asked to design and project manage this impressive new Openreach training centre. We began the design process in April last year, working closely with Openreach to understand how they currently train new and existing engineers and how the training could be better delivered.

“Working with trainers from Openreach, we have developed a revolutionary training model, including a complete street scene, built entirely indoors. This now means that training of new engineers can take place in a real-life environment, providing a hands-on learning experience such as installing new lines or finding simulated network faults in houses, flats, shops and offices, both above and below ground.

“By providing the new facility within an existing building, the great thing is that the training is no longer weather dependent and can be completed at any time in a controlled but realistic environment.”

Openreach estimate that at least 2,000 engineers will use this centre for training and the newly built centre will employ 12 training staff and engineers from across the East Midlands.

The broadband engineering firm is also aiming to build 12 more training centres by 2021 with Dudley stating that: “the Peterborough centre being used as a blueprint for new centres which will be replicated across the country”, LSH will also be assisting in the design and project management of future schemes.

Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said: “We’re making great progress towards reaching our target of upgrading three million homes and businesses to full-fibre by the end of 2020 – reaching another 13,000 premises per week – and these new East of England recruits will play a crucial role in that programme. Openreach is a people business, and our new apprentices will enable us to fulfil our commitments with an ultimate ambition to deliver the best possible connectivity to everyone, everywhere, across the entire country.”

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