BT confirms plans to shut 270 offices

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(Image credit: BT)

BT is pressing ahead with plans to shut down as many as 270 offices in a major restructure that will see 13,000 jobs cut.

The programme was announced by former CEO Gavin Patterson in May and will see 13,000 jobs cut, mainly in back office and middle management roles, and a move to base its operations at 30 sites around the UK.

It is hoped the changes will save £1.3 billion, allow the more streamlined company to react more rapidly to market trends, and means it can get closer to customers. It will also hire as many as 6,000 engineers and customer service agents as it invests in fibre and 5G infrastructure.

Job cuts

BT is pitching the changes as the UK’s “largest workplace consolidation and improvement” project, claiming the move will result in modern, future-proof offices with 5G connectivity. However euphemistic monikers such as the “better workforce programme” are unlikely to endear it to unions who overwhelmingly reject the changes.

Nevertheless, current CEO Philip Jansen, who joined in January, is pressing ahead and has revealed the first eight locations. These will be Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Manchester, as well as BT’s Research and Development facility at Adastral Park near Ipswich.

The London location has yet to be identified, but BT will vacate its London St Paul’s headquarters.

“The Better Workplace Programme is about bringing our people together in brilliant spaces, and transforming the way we work,” said Jansen.

“Revealing these eight locations is just the first step; we have dedicated teams working on identifying the best buildings to move into and which ones to redesign for the future. As a result of this programme, BT people will be housed in inspiring offices that are better for our business and better for our customers.”