Communications giant BT is to create 160 engineering jobs in Scotland as part of a drive to install new lines and fix faults more quickly.

They are among 1,600 new engineering jobs being created across the UK at Openreach, BT's local access network business.

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The company said it expects a significant number of the engineering roles to be filled by ex-service men and women.

It also wants to recruit more female engineers and has launched a campaign encouraging women to enter the world of engineering.

BT said that in Scotland it is particularly keen to recruit in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Ayr, Newton Stewart, Ardrossan, Livingston, Perth, Inverness, Oban, Wick, Campbeltown, Portree and Dumfries.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, said: "BT is helping to lead Scotland's economic recovery as one of the nation's largest investors. Not only are we building a superfast broadband network, which is giving a major boost to Scottish households and businesses, we are creating highly skilled local jobs offering exciting careers, such as those announced today.

"Working with our partners in the public sector we are determined to ensure that Scotland is in the best position possible to take full advantage of the superfast broadband revolution.

"The opportunities for businesses to grow and for households to benefit from enhanced online learning and entertainment are immense."

BT said that the new recruits will help to continue to improve customer service and bring technology to even more communities.

Openreach chief executive Joe Garner said: "Millions of customers depend on broadband and they rely on us to keep them connected, whatever the weather.

"Our engineers do an incredible job. They have been rolling out fibre broadband faster than anywhere else in the world, and at the same time completing hundreds of thousands of jobs each week to keep people connected throughout the UK - an amazing achievement."

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Supporting business, creating jobs and providing a better future for hard-working people is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan.

"So I am delighted that BT is launching this major recruitment drive for 1,600 engineers across the UK, providing financial security for families and delivering a world class infrastructure for Britain."

Finance Secretary John Swinney MSP said: "The Scottish Government and its agencies work hard to support job creation in Scotland and we are delighted to hear that BT are looking to recruit 1,600 engineering jobs across the UK.

"The creation of these new highly skilled jobs will provide many opportunities for people in Scotland looking for a career in engineering.

"We welcome this announcement, particularly BT's drive to increase the number of female engineers, given the current gender imbalance in the number of women working in the Scottish IT and Telecoms sector.

"We will continue to work in partnership with BT to improve the availability of superfast broadband throughout Scotland through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme in which a total of £410 million is being invested."