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Fears raised over future of hundreds of BT jobs at Adastral Park in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 18:04 10 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:04 10 May 2018

BT has announced job cuts.  Picture: BT.

BT has announced job cuts. Picture: BT.

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Fears have been raised over the future of hundreds of BT jobs in Suffolk, after the telecoms giant revealed plans to axe 13,000 jobs over the next three years.

The Prospect union has raised fears that jobs may be lost at Adastral Park in Martlesham. Picture: MIKE PAGEThe Prospect union has raised fears that jobs may be lost at Adastral Park in Martlesham. Picture: MIKE PAGE

Unions say they are concerned at the impact on Adastral Park, though BT has not confirmed the locations or offices which will be affected by the cuts.

The company said the job losses would mainly affect back office and middle management roles, with two-thirds of the 13,000 total expected to be cut from the UK workforce of 82,800 people.

Professionals union Prospect has around 1,500 members at Martlesham, where there are around 3,000 people employed - though not all directly by BT.

Union national secretary Philippa Childs said: “We have some real fears for Adastral Park.

“With 8,000 to 9,000 jobs to go in the UK that is about a third of management jobs. Nowhere is going to be untouched.

“Our members are very aware and concerned with what the impact will be at Adastral Park.

“Obviously there we have some very skilled and talented people working on lots of innovation and new tech projects. There are jobs at risk, as there are right across the country.”

Ms Childs said the loss of expertise could impact BT’s research and innovation capability, and said staff feared that losing so many jobs so quickly could lead to work being left to employees in lower-graded roles.

The move comes as BT looks to cut costs by around £1.5 billion by the final year of its three-year plan, though it said it plans to create 6,000 new jobs “to support network deployment and customer service”.

Asked whether Martlesham would be affected, a BT spokesman said: “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.”

BT will move its London head office, but plans to find a new location in the capital. It will also reduce the number of UK offices it has, from around 50 to 30, but the spokesman added: “There are no details yet of what this means for individual locations around the country.”

The strategic update came as BT released its full-year results which showed a 1% drop in revenue to £23.7 billion, while reported pre-tax profits rose 11% to £2.6 billion.

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