BT has announced plans to create up to 130 new engineering jobs in the North West as part of a major recruitment drive across the UK.

The latest intake of engineers will help bring high-speed fibre broadband to new communities.

Nationally, Openreach expects to recruit 1,600 engineers.

The new engineers will help Openreach to improve customer service as it strives to install new lines and fix faults more quickly. The business expects a significant number of the engineering roles to be taken up by ex-service men and women – continuing the company’s long-standing relationship with the UK Armed Forces.

Openreach is also particularly keen to recruit more female engineers and has launched a campaign encouraging women to enter the world of engineering.

Mike Blackburn, BT’s North West regional director, said: “BT is leading the economic recovery of the North West as one of the region’s largest investors “Not only are we building a superfast broadband network, which is giving a major boost to the region’s households and businesses, we are creating highly skilled local jobs offering exciting careers, such as those announced today.

“Working with our partners in the public sector we are determined to ensure that the North West is in the best position possible to take full advantage of the superfast broadband revolution.

“The region should be really positive about its future.

“Exciting times lie ahead for both BT and the North West. The opportunities for businesses to grow and for households to benefit from enhanced on-line learning and entertainment are immense.”

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid, secretary of state for culture, media and sport and minister for equalities, said: “The creation of new jobs, like the ones being announced by BT today, is one of the many benefits associated with the roll-out of superfast broadband currently under way.

“We know that for every £1 invested by government, we get £20 benefit in return, and the employment boost delivered through infrastructure projects like this are a vital part of the Government’s long term economic plan.”

BT has a long-standing relationship with the UK Armed Forces, and some of the latest group of new recruits will join through its Civilian Work Attachment scheme.

Recruitment for the new roles is under way, and people interested in applying for the posts should go to www.