West Lothian college working with Openreach to train digital engineers

A fibre training school featuring a replica street has been unveiled by Openreach to train the next generation of digital engineers.

Openreach has invested £485,000 in the facility in Livingston, which will train more than 2,000 engineers from across Scotland this year.

Trainees will be able to hone their skills in a replica residential street outside the centre where a live fibre network connects a local exchange to an office, shop and houses through pavements, ducts, poles and cabinets.

There are also fibre classrooms, complete with duct pipes, fibre cables and walls replicating the inside and outside of customer’ houses.

Openreach will also use the centre to help educate policymakers about the technical side of building a full fibre network and is working with further education establishments like West Lothian College to open its doors to engineering students.

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn opened the West Lothian facility on Tuesday during Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2019.

He said: “Investing in the skills of Scotland’s current and future workforce are priorities for the Scottish Government, recognising their positive contribution to our strategic focus on inclusive growth and improving productivity.

“Hence we will continue to expand the number of apprenticeships in Scotland, and in this Scottish Apprenticeship Week we fully welcome today’s Openreach announcement regarding their investment in Scotland and its workforce”.