BT reassurance over jobs threat

TELECOMS giant BT today assured staff at its Martlesham Heath complex that proposed massive staff cuts would have a limited impact on the centre.

TELECOMS giant BT today assured staff at its Martlesham Heath complex that proposed massive staff cuts would have a limited impact on the centre.

A spokesman for the company told the Evening Star: “We are not aware of any big specific plans for BT in the regions.

“We have exciting long-term plans for the future of Adastral Park, which remain unchanged.”

Some 3,500 staff are employed at Adastral Park, which has been earmarked by BT for an ambitious project to create a multi-million pound innovation park, homes and university accommodation.

The exciting scheme has been lodged with planners - and will provide for BT's future needs, create more than 1,000 jobs, and include 2,000 homes, sports and leisure facilities, a new primary school and a health centre, hotel and a renewable energy plant.

The company spokesman said 10,000 jobs would be cut this financial year - 4,000 had gone so far and 6,000 would go between now and the end of March.

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He said: “This programme is primarily about BT reducing its dependence on consultants and contractors.

“About 7,000 direct staff leave BT every year so this year it is really about us not replacing a large number of those people.

“Direct staff reductions will be achieved through voluntary schemes and us not replacing people who retire or leave the business.

“The jobs to go will be peppered around the world rather than concentrated in a few areas.”

BT currently employs about 160,000 staff - 110,000 direct staff and 50,000 contractors, consultants, and agency staff.

The number of consultants and contractors is being reduced by around 12pc and direct staff numbers by around four pc.

The indirect jobs which will go are a mix of UK and non-UK and will depend on which exact projects are chosen to proceed in the coming six months.

Are you affected by the BT job cuts - what do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk