BT Group

Report: BT adds £24 billion to the UK economy

BT Group employs 1 in every 12 people in UK’s IT and communications sector

BT Group, its spend with contractors and suppliers, and the spending power of its employees, are responsible for supporting more than 12,400 jobs in Scotland, according to a new independent report.

Consultancy firm Hatch calculated that the communications and technology company generated more than £24bn in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy during the last financial year, including £1.2 billion in Scotland alone.

The report estimates that around 300,000 full-time jobs in the UK are supported through BT’s direct employment, its spending with contractors and suppliers, and the spending of its employees. The Group also spent nearly £10.1 billion with suppliers based around the UK, including helping to maintain around 35,000 vehicles, with an ambition to transition up to 28,000 to electric vehicles by 2030.

Spending by people in receipt of a BT pension also supported an estimated 26,600 jobs and contributed nearly £2bn across the UK. BT Group has broadband and mobile networks spanning from the Scilly Isles to Shetland, built and maintained by some of the 82,800 direct employees it has in the UK. This is equivalent to one in every 12 employees working in the IT and communications sectors.

The report estimates that around 12,400 full-time jobs in Scotland are supported by BT Group through direct and indirect effects. It also spent £167m with suppliers based in Scotland – including those in the retail, construction and telecommunications industries. In Scotland, BT directly employs 7,240 people, with a further 205 employed as contractors.

Jane Wood, BT Group director of nations and regions, said:

“I’m immensely proud of the contribution our colleagues make in supporting the UK economy. At an important time for our country, our spending on people, networks and suppliers, provides a vital economic boost for the UK. The wider impact of that spending helps to sustain communities and small businesses right across the UK.

“In the past year, having good connectivity has become more important than ever as we’ve all had to work, learn, and spend more leisure time online. Despite these challenges, our dedicated and determined colleagues have ensured EE’s 5G network has been extended to cover 125 towns and cities, built out Openreach’s full-fibre networks to reach 4.1 million premises and EE’s 4G network now reaches 85 per cent of the UK. I know these significant investments will help to underpin the country’s economic recovery post-Covid.”

The company is currently modernising its business, including investing in the UK’s largest workplace consolidation and modernisation programme, as it moves from 300 locations to around 30 as part of its Better Workplace programme.

It plans to move into a brand-new HQ in London later in 2021 and has also announced plans to open new or refurbish existing locations. New strategic hub locations will open in Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester, providing future-fit workplaces of the future for thousands of colleagues.

BT’s Consumer contact centres now handle 100% of customer calls in the UK, at centres from Dundee to Plymouth. Since customer service for BT, EE and Plusnet customers was brought back to the UK and Ireland last year, more than 34 million calls have been handled.

Tim Fanning, Director at Hatch, said:

“Our analysis underlines how vast BT Group’s contribution is to the UK economy as a whole as well as to individual communities in the nations and regions. Its presence across the country generates significant further activity and investment, supporting many thousands of jobs.”

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