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Don’t look down: BT Openreach launches virtual-reality videos to entice new recruits in East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 11:05 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:06 20 March 2017

BT Openreach apprentice Sam Last, of Suffolk, with a virtual reality headset the company is using to give potential new recruits a taste of the job.

BT Openreach apprentice Sam Last, of Suffolk, with a virtual reality headset the company is using to give potential new recruits a taste of the job.

Archant

Virtual-reality videos give potential recruits an engineer’s-eye view of work for BT Openreach.

Are you cut out for life at the top of a telegraph pole? Or deep underground, inspecting a network chamber?

That’s the question BT Openreach is asking as it launches a drive to sign up 40 new trainee engineers in Norfolk and 19 in Suffolk, part of a wider campaign to make 120 new recruits in the East of England.

And the company is embracing virtual reality to give people a taste of the job, and has released a series of 360-degree videos for virtual reality headsets so potential workers can make their minds up through the eyes of an engineer.

The new recruits will work to extend the fibre broadband network, improve customer service, and will cover Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, and Essex. In Norfolk, the jobs will be based in Norwich, Attleborough, Great Yarmouth, Cromer, King’s Lynn and Thetford, while in Suffolk they will cover Felixstowe, Sudbury, Lowestoft and Stowmarket.

Kevin Brady, human resources director for Openreach, explained: “Everyone wonders what it might be like to work for a company when they apply for a job, but we’re giving people the ability to physically see it and experience it for themselves.

“We get people from all walks of life applying for roles at Openreach and an increasing number of women wanting to be engineers, which is fantastic. Becoming an engineer can be a very rewarding career choice, and of course some aspects of the job are both mentally and physically challenging. We know, for example, that climbing a pole for the first time can be daunting for new recruits, and that’s why we wanted to give people a real insight into what’s involved. Hopefully it will help them to make a more informed decision when they come to apply.”

Among the videos, which can be downloaded to PC, tablet or VR headset, are an engineer’s-eye view from the top of a telephone pole, a virtual tour of a telephone exchange and a look inside a green roadside cabinet.

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