Peterborough engineers’ training hub will be blueprint for UK

The imitation street scene at the Openreach training school in Peterborough.
The imitation street scene at the Openreach training school in Peterborough.

A state-of-the-art training school in Peterborough for telecommunication engineers will be the blueprint for centres across the country.

The Openreach training school, in Saville Road, was officially opened by Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd.

The school , which features a street scene including offices, shops and homes within a large building, took about nine months to create.

Dudley Cross, head of office at commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton in Northampton, led delivery of the Peterborough project.

He said: “We have developed a revolutionary training model, including a complete street scene, built entirely indoors.

“This means training of new engineers can take place in a real-life environment, providing a hands-on learning experience, such as installing new lines or finding simulated network faults in houses, flats, shops and offices, both above and below ground.

“By providing the new facility within an existing building, the great thing is that the training is no longer weather dependent and can be completed at any time in a controlled but realistic environment.”

Mr Cross added: “The Peterborough centre is being used as a blueprint for new centres which will be replicated across the country.”

Openreach plans to build another 11 training schools across the country.

It is currently recruiting 3,000 trainee engineers with 395 of them earmarked for the East of England.

Some 2,000 engineers will pass through the Peterborough school each year.