CityFibre and O’Connor Utilities team up to launch digital infrastructure training centre in South Yorkshire

City communications

CityFibre and O’Connor Utilities team up to launch digital infrastructure training centre in South Yorkshire

27 June 2022


CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent Full Fibre platform, is partnering with O’Connor Utilities Ltd (OCU) to launch the utility contractor’s first training facility in Sheffield, which will help people from across South Yorkshire to develop the skills they will need to begin a career in digital infrastructure construction.

The training centre, which opens today in Newhall, Sheffield is part of a £250k investment by OCU to recruit new talent into the industry and grow its workforce to support CityFibre’s digital infrastructure rollout, which is currently in progress in Leeds, Wakefield, Rotherham, St Helens and Sheffield.

OCU has been CityFibre’s build partner for its Sheffield Full Fibre network rollout since February 2021 as part of a £115m investment CityFibre is making that will bring the fastest and most reliable internet services to almost every home and business in the area.

The opening of the new centre brings with it a wealth of opportunity to upskill workers across the Yorkshire region and support the Government’s Levelling Up strategy. The facility will offer theory-based learning alongside practical training in various telecommunication engineering methods, first aid and HSG47 courses. The training facility will also work with the CTP (Career Transition Partnership) and the armed forces to continually provide employment opportunities to service personnel transitioning into civilian life.

Recent data published by Hatch outlined the projected economic impact of CityFibre’s Full Fibre rollout, with its impact on widening workforces across Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley expected to amount to a combined £296m, while its productivity and innovation benefits are projected to deliver £1.36bn for the same locations. It has been projected that circa 10,000 jobs are to be created to help build the infrastructure necessary to bring Full Fibre infrastructure to up to eight million premises in the UK, a number that OCU’s new training facility will help contribute towards.

Natalie Ward, Area Manager, CityFibre, said: “This marks an exciting time for both CityFibre and OCU as we embark on engaging and training a new generation of skilled digital infrastructure constructors. The expanding workforce will bring a variety of benefits to South Yorkshire through continuing to lay the groundwork for the region to develop further as a leader in Full Fibre infrastructure and digital connectivity. This investment will help to secure the future growth and success of the region as a forward-thinking business community, as well as providing more jobs for local residents and future generations who can help make CityFibre and OCU’s future roadmap for the region a reality.”

Richard Lye, O'Connor Utilities, said: “We believe we have created a future-proofed facility that will secure the future of workforce competency that will, in turn, drive a range of benefits to positively impact the local and surrounding area’s residents and businesses. Thanks to our partnership with CityFibre, we recognised the demand for skilled workers and the need for a new Yorkshire training facility.”

“Training an accredited, competent and confident workforce is a top priority for both parties, and through utilising the skills and experience of our sister company, Instalcom, we have been able to deliver a world-class PIA training facility. We look forward to the centre’s growth and providing further accredited courses and training in future.”

Services from Pure Broadband are already live in the Castlebeck, Manor and Richmond areas of Sheffield, and across the UK CityFibre is working with launch partners Vodafone, TalkTalk, Giganet, Zen and IDNet. Residents interested in giving their home broadband a boost can find out more about the build and check whether services are live by visiting here.