The British telecom giant BT Group, formerly British Telecom, wants to reduce its total workforce to 42 percent within seven years, which amounts to about 55,000 employees. At least ten thousand of these must be replaced by AI.
BT Group wants to replace customer service with AI, among other things, says CEO Philip Jansen in a conversation with analysts, writes CNN. According to him, their own chatbot Amy already answers many questions from customers and artificial intelligence can make customer service ‘smoother’. The company is also experimenting with other products and services related to generative AI.
The company also expects that digital networks will require less maintenance in the near future due to continuous improvements. As a result, BT Group estimates that more than 10,000 fewer workers will be needed in this area by the end of the decade, reports BBC. Especially after the telecom company has fully rolled out its new British fiber network by the end of 2026, the workforce must be significantly reduced. The latter should save at least 15,000 jobs, both full-timers and external contractors.
In addition to the previously mentioned ten thousand jobs that can be automated according to BT Group, another five thousand will also be reduced through ‘restructuring’. These are all minimum estimated numbers, because BT Group wants to cut 55,000 jobs at the most. The four areas in which cutbacks must be made therefore leave room for 15,000 employees.
The company now employs around 130,000 employees, including 30,000 contractors from external companies. In 2022, the telecom provider still had a workforce of 135,000 people. In 2030, the company only wants to employ between 75,000 and 90,000 employees.