Broadband infrastructure provider CityFibre will create 10,000 new jobs as part of the push to deliver full-fibre broadband across Britain by 2025.
In a boost for regional economies, the company says it will invest £4bn over the next three years to recruit people from towns or cities where new fibre optic cables will be laid.
The Goldman Sachs-backed firm is competition against larger rivals such as BT’s Openreach and Liberty Global’s Virgin Media to build new networks in 100 towns and cities across the UK.
The quest to provide fast broadband services has become the subject of intense political scrutiny since the 2019 General Election, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding full-fibre broadband provision to every UK home by 2025.
Since the UK went into lockdown on March 23 to stem the coronavirus outbreak, politicians on both sides of the aisle have come to recognise the growing importance of the fast broadband connections for the economy.
The London headquartered company says it will aim to attract more women and people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds – both demographics that are significantly underrepresented in the construction industry.
CityFibre will also be targeting those that have recently lost jobs due to the coronavirus crisis as well as veterans.
Steve Holliday, chairman at CityFibre said: “The programme will reach deep into our society to include some of those most in need of opportunity.
“In the wake of the coronavirus, delivering the government’s target of full fibre nationwide by 2025 could not be more important.”
The company says it begin the programme later this month, where successful recruits will then be provided jobs with local network construction partners in a range of roles.
Mr Holliday added: “Of all the infrastructure projects and industrial policies under consideration, full fibre will have the biggest impact in the shortest time, and for the least public money.
“It will help ensure that the UK not only recovers economically, but that it swiftly transitions to a greener, smarter and fairer economy in which to thrive.”
Since the UK government announced it is backing full fibre roll out through the country, there has been a growing number of deals among fast-fibre broadband providers.
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.
“We’re working closely with firms like CityFibre and I warmly welcome their commitment to building a highly-skilled and diverse telecoms workforce which will boost growth right across the UK.”