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10,000 new jobs necessary to help build Britain’s full-fibre network

Around 10,000 jobs are to be created to help build the infrastructure necessary to bring full-fibre Internet connectivity to around eight million premises in the UK.

Soon after becoming Prime Minister last year, Boris Johnson promised to roll out full-fibre broadband across much of the UK by 2025. Many MPs said the claims were difficult to believe considering the UK’s existing digital divide.

To address the problem, digital infrastructure providers CityFibre has announced that it will begin a three-year recruitment and training programme targeted at both skilled and unskilled people.

CityFibre said the plans would help to underpin Britain’s long-term economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. It added that it will target specific groups, including those who have lost their jobs as a result of the crisis and more women and individuals from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, both of which are under-represented in the construction industry.

“The programme will reach deep into our society to include some of those most in need of opportunity,” said Steve Holliday, chairman at CityFibre.

“Ultimately, it will ensure the skilled workforce is in place to get the job done and at the same time provide upskilling and well-paid jobs across more than 100 towns and cities. In the wake of coronavirus, delivering the Government’s target of full-fibre nationwide by 2025 could not be more important.

Digital secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Our £5bn commitment to bring faster, gigabit-speed internet to the whole country is key to ensuring everyone is better connected, creating jobs and powering the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus.”

Meanwhile, mobile network operator O2 has announced that it has launched its 5G service in 60 towns and cities across the UK, beating its original target of 50 locations by the summer.

Aberdeen, Brighton and Oxford were among the most recent additions to the roster since O2 introduced the technology to customers in October 2019.

“As the UK faces an uncertain year ahead, it’s vital we continue to invest in new innovations and technologies to keep Britain mobile and connected,” said Brendan O’Reilly, O2’s chief technology officer.

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