Kirkstall Forge, Leeds College, O’Connor Utilities (OCU) and CityFibre have joined forces to support young apprentices through a 12-week fibre installation training scheme that will help build the city’s full fibre network.

CityFibre, the UK’s leading alternative provider of wholesale full fibre infrastructure, and construction firm OCU have worked in partnership with Leeds-based skills centre “Forging Futures Campus,” to nurture new talent to help develop Leeds’ first full fibre network. Following a 12-week apprenticeship scheme, delivered by I Consult Ltd. and designed by Kirkstall Forge and Leeds College of Building, OCU has hired three young graduates to immediately begin working for its teams in the city.

The graduates, who impressed OCU with their dedication and commitment over the course of the programme, will support in the delivery of a full fibre network in Leeds, which represents a £120m investment by CityFibre. The Forging Futures Campus, an initiative launched by CEG, in conjunction with Leeds College of Building and Leeds City Council, offers invaluable experience and opportunities for young people in the area to explore a career in engineering.

Vodafone will be using CityFibre’s network to bring Vodafone Gigafast Full Fibre Broadband services to the residents of Leeds. By using faster and more reliable fibre-optic cables, installed by CityFibre, at every stage of a connection instead of traditional telephone lines, Vodafone Gigafast Full Fibre Broadband gives users download speeds 20 times faster and upload speeds 150 times faster than the average fixed broadband service in the UK.

Kim Johnston, CityFibre’s City Manager for Leeds, said: “We are absolutely committed to Leeds for the long-term and want to leave behind a positive lasting legacy. In addition to our full fibre network, we want to support the community in which we are working. That is why we are working with local partners to give young people in the area the opportunity to develop their careers.

“Getting more skilled engineers into the workforce and helping them to secure work right away is a win-win for everyone, and initiatives like the Forging Futures Campus are a real credit to Leeds. Because we are building a network future-proofed for future generations, it is especially pleasing to have members of the next generation playing such a pivotal supporting role.”

Angela Myers, SHEQT Advisor, OCU, said: “It has been a real pleasure to see our apprentices develop and grow over the course of the program. They’ve built their confidence, communication skills and competency and have demonstrated a real commitment to the role that will no doubt lead to a long and bright future at OCU.

“On-the-job experience like this is invaluable for budding engineers and it has been a pleasure to collaborate with Kirkstall Forge, Forging Futures and CityFibre to help young people in Leeds to get this opportunity.”

Ewan Metcalf, Managing Director of I Consult Ltd, said: “We’re delighted that OCU has employed three of the graduates from the programme, allowing them to build on the skills developed through the Forging Futures Campus. Commercial partnerships are vital to the ongoing success of the course and OCU has been so supportive throughout.”

Currently, fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) is available to around 10 per cent of premises across the UK. It is revered as the best in connectivity for its speed, near unlimited bandwidth and reliability. By using fibre optic cables for every stage of the connection from the customer’s home or business to the Internet, users will be offered a significantly superior and more reliable broadband service, capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps).

To find out more about CityFibre’s Gigabit City vision for Leeds visit: www.cityfibre.com/gigabit-cities. Those interested in Vodafone’s Gigafast Full Fibre Broadband services can register their interest online at: www.vodafone.co.uk/Gigafast

For more information on how you can help deliver Britain’s full fibre future visit the CityFibre Careers page at: https://www.cityfibre.com/careers/

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