BT to axe 13,000 jobs and leave London HQ in cost-cutting plan

BT has announced thousands of job losses. Below, the contact centre in South Tyneside.
BT has announced thousands of job losses. Below, the contact centre in South Tyneside.

BT is to axe around 13,000 jobs over three years as the telecoms giant aims to cut costs.

The company said the job losses would mainly affect back office and middle management roles.

There are also plans to exit the BT headquarters in central London.

It comes as BT looks to cut costs by around £1.5 billion by the third year of its revamped strategic plan.

The telecoms firm added that it would be hiring around 6,000 new employees "to support network deployment and customer service".

BT has around around 106,400 employees globally, with 82,800 in the UK.

Hundreds of people are employed by BT across the region, with some housed at the company's contact centre in South Shields.

The announcement comes nearly a year after the company said it was to axe 4,000 jobs as part of a restructuring of its Global Services unit.

BT explained on Thursday that it was making moves to simplify its operating model by "de-layering" its management structure and ensuring there are "fewer, bigger, more accountable leadership roles".

It was also trying to improve productivity across its core UK operations, including "process simplification and automation to reduce costs".

Plans to ditch its London headquarters were made in an effort to reduce inefficiencies that it said were created by being housed in numerous sites across the UK.

Commenting on the business plan, chief executive Gavin Patterson said BT was in a position to be a "leader in converged connectivity and services".

A BT spokesperson added: "There are no details at this stage of either the reduction in roles, or the new jobs we have announced today, or what this means for individual locations around the country.

"We have been clear, however, that the changes will represent an investment in the jobs and skills needed to strengthen our networks and customer service."