BT Group has announced that they are to move to artificial intelligence (AI) and automated services and by the end of the decade between 40,000 and 55,000 jobs will be lost.
Over the next seven years BT who employs around 130,000 people will cut their workforce to between 75,000 and 95,000 and around 40% of the total workforce will be reduced.
Chief executive Philip Jansen said that going automated moving to AI this will make services faster for BT’s customers and “The biggest driver here is customers, make no mistake.”
He added that the move to AI does not mean their customer will “feel like they are dealing with robots.
“We are multi-channel, we are online, we have 450 stores and that’s not planning on changing at all.
“There are plenty of opportunities for our customers to deal with people at BT… plenty of people to speak to.
“New technologies drive new jobs in the end. But that is the second stage and it’s what we are all working on right now.”
A spokesman for the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said: “The introduction of new technologies across the company along with the completion of the fibre infrastructure build replacing the copper network was always going to result in less labour costs for the company in the coming years.
“However, we have made it categorically clear to BT that we want to retain as many direct labour jobs as possible and that any reduction should come from sub-contractors in the first instance and natural attrition.
“We have also stated that it’s imperative that we should be in the room discussing and shaping the new skills required of the workforce as they move to a more digital network to ensure our members have a stable, secure career within BT well into the future; to which the company has agreed ongoing discussions with the CWU on these matters.”