Openreach partnership aims to boost employability among disadvantaged young people

Broadband network company Openreach has formed a partnership with education charity IntoUniversity to offer disadvantaged young people career opportunities in the telecoms sector.

Through the link up young people aged 12 to 18 have this week been competing in Dragons Den style exercises to develop their teamwork, communication and leadership skills.

Two ‘careers in focus’ events have also been staged in Leeds and Liverpool, for 12- to 16-year-olds to discuss their education and career aspirations.

A further event will be held at an Openreach site involving training in communication skills, with additional activities scheduled to take place in Leeds and Southampton this year.

“Young people facing disadvantage are full of potential, but circumstances mean they are underrepresented across many sectors, including telecoms,” said Openreach general counsel and diversity & inclusion lead Belinda Bagge.

“This partnership has the potential to open up a world of possibilities to these young people, to let them know the variety of options that a career in telecoms, and at Openreach specifically, can offer them, and to provide them with practical guidance on how to reach their goals.”

Taking part will be Openreach employees, who have three days of company time a year to volunteer for a good cause.

IntoUniversity chief executive Rachel Carr added: “We’ve already been able to deliver some amazing workshops for young people, opening their eyes to a different industry and the variety of potential career opportunities that it offers.

“Not only are Openreach providing us with much-needed funding, these workshops, delivered by Openreach volunteers, are a core part of our programme which help our students build their knowledge and understanding of the array of options out there for them and start to see themselves in jobs they might never have even heard of.”

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