More than 100 trainee engineers have already been recruited by Openreach in the past year from across West Yorkshire and the firm announced in January that a further 90 local trainee engineer jobs will be filled in the coming year.

To mark the milestone the leaders of both Bradford and Leeds councils visited the Openreach training centre on Legrams Lane to find out more.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, said:“There’s a national shortage of engineers so it’s great to see an infrastructure business like Openreach playing its part and investing in training new talent right here in Bradford.”

Cllr Judith Blake, leader of Leeds Council, said: “Leeds has seen a huge investment over the past two years and our strong digital economy has been a key factor in the city’s success.

“As the sector grows, however, it is important that we ensure that everyone across the city is given the chance to benefit.

“By investing in developing the skills of local engineers and connecting more households and businesses to reliable and superfast broadband, this training centre is demonstrating inclusive growth in action.”

More than £1 million has been invested in the Bradford centre to transform it from a 1970s office, storage and workshop unit into the training facility it is today.

In fact it has become a template for Openreach training centres across the UK – giving recruits and engineers a safe, real-life network to get to grips with their work.

Central to the school is ‘Open Street’, which Openreach has built to mimic a typical residential road. Engineers can experience a typical working day - from cabling to jointing and repairs, working underground or overhead, climbing telephone poles and installing new services inside customers’ homes.

Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director said: “The training centre is a huge asset to Openreach and to Bradford.”

Of the further 90 local trainee jobs that will be coming up, she added: “We know from past experience that we will have no problem filling those positions with top quality candidates.

“These trainees will join the country’s largest team of telecoms experts working to expand, upgrade, maintain and install services over Openreach’s national broadband network.”

Openreach is the UK’s digital network business and works on behalf of communications providers such as SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT.

The firm’s Fibre First programme will deliver expanded FTTP networks in up to 40 towns and cities.