BT plans to cut 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade | British News

The BT Group Plc tower in London, Britain, on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. The fiber storm hitting telecom operators should not have prevented BT from meeting its profit and free cash flow targets in results if it reported on Thursday. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The telecom giant plans to reduce its workforce from 130,000 to 90,000 (Image: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

BT will cut up to 55,000 jobs over the next 10 years as the company plans to replace staff with artificial intelligence.

The telecoms giant currently employs around 130,000 people but plans to reduce that number to under 90,000 in order to achieve a “much smaller workforce”.

About a fifth of the workforce reductions will be for customer service employees, with jobs being replaced by AI technology.

Some construction work will also be canceled as BT will not need as many staff to maintain the network after rolling out the full fiber broadband and 5G network.

The announcement came after BT announced a 12% drop in profit for the fiscal year ended April.

Chief Executive Philip Jansen said: “By continuing to build and connect like mad, digitize the way we work and simplify our structure, BT Group will be relying on a much smaller workforce and a significantly reduced cost base by the late 2020s.”

“The new BT Group will be a leaner company with a brighter future.”

BT Group Plc CEO Philip Jansen gestures during a speech during a news conference in London, Britain, Wednesday, October 9, 2019. BT is taking new steps to improve customer service, including launching the BT brand for the first time in almost two decades in business when Jansen launched a charm offensive to defend market share. Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BT chief executive Philip Jansen said he wants to digitize the workforce (Image: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

He added that the company will work with its union partners throughout the downsizing and will also rely on natural turnover if an employee leaves the company but is not replaced.

BT, the UK’s largest broadband provider, said between 40,000 and 55,000 jobs will be shed by 2030.

The Communication Workers Union said the cuts were “no surprise”.

In a statement, it said, “The rollout of new technologies across the business, as well as the completion of construction of the fiber infrastructure replacing the copper network, would consistently result in reduced labor costs for the business for years to come.”

“However, we have made it categorically clear to BT that we intend to retain as many direct jobs as possible and that any downsizing should be primarily by subcontractors and through natural turnover.”

There will be further savings from restructuring.

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Justin Scaccy

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