Thank you for contacting me about restructuring at BT.
I hugely regret any loss of jobs in the UK as a result of redundancy, and I very much appreciate the terrific efforts of BT staff to keep this country’s communication lines open during a period where many people have relied on them to work or learn from home.
I have been assured that my Ministerial colleagues regularly engage with BT about a range of topics, including their UK workforce, at both the Official and Ministerial levels. Ultimately, however, BT is a private company so decisions about its structure and employment are a matter for its Board. BT has assured Ministers that its approach is to minimise redundancies through natural attrition (i.e. not always replacing those who are retiring) and to provide opportunities to re-skill and redeploy workers whenever possible, and that it engages properly and regularly with the trade unions that represent its workers at all levels.
I know that Ministers are committed to boosting job creation. The 'Plan for Jobs' announced during the Summer Economic Update makes up to £30 billion available with a clear goal to create, protect, and support jobs, and to spur the UK's recovery following Covid-19. The plan includes three main points: supporting people to find the jobs that are out there, creating new jobs through investing in our infrastructure and housing, and protecting jobs by revitalising the hard-hit sectors upon which many jobs depend.
More generally, the Government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible, and is investing £5billion to deliver gigabit-capable services to the hardest to reach parts of the UK. Nationwide gigabit rollout will create thousands of high-quality jobs in the UK and help the country build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking