BT Announces Cost-Cutting Measures
BT, the telecoms giant, reveals plans to reduce its workforce by up to 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade, with a significant portion to be replaced by artificial intelligence technologies.
Customer Service Roles Impacted as AI Takes Center Stage
Up to a fifth of the job cuts at BT will come from customer service positions as the company looks to utilize artificial intelligence tools, such as ChatGPT, to enhance efficiency and service quality.
AI’s Role in BT’s Transformation
BT’s CEO, Philip Jansen, highlights the potential of AI, particularly generative AI, to drive further improvements in services. He emphasizes that customer interactions will not be solely handled by robots, as human contact and multi-channel options will remain integral.
Fiber Network Expansion and Technological Advancements as Factors
BT’s expansion of its fiber network, alongside advancements in technology and AI, contributes to the reduction in staff requirements. The completion of network infrastructure projects and increased automation will impact job needs in the future.
Implications for BT’s Workforce and UK Operations
BT plans to become a leaner business, resulting in a smaller workforce of 40,000 to 55,000 fewer employees by 2030. The majority of the cuts will affect the 80,000 employees in the UK, with a smaller impact on the 20,000 international staff.
CWU’s Response and BT’s Financial Performance
The Communications and Workers Union (CWU) states that job cuts were expected due to technological advancements. BT’s announcement coincided with a 12% decline in profits, causing its shares to drop. The focus now shifts to retaining core employees amidst the restructuring.