BT has revealed it will cut 55,000 jobs over the next seven years.

The UK’s biggest broadband and mobile provider could cut as much as 40 percent of its workforce.

The company is coming to the end of its fibre broadband rollout and is looking to adapt to new technologies including AI.

READ MORE: BT to hire over 400 apprentices and graduates in September

Jansen said once the fibre rollout was complete, as well as digitising the way it works and adopting AI technology, BT would rely on a much smaller workforce and a massively reduced costs base by the end of the decade.

He told Reuters: “New BT Group will be a leaner business with a brighter future.

The company currently employs around 130,000 people, and will look to reduce that headcount to between 75,000 and 90,000 by the end of the financial year in 2030.

It is already carrying out job cuts, which will accelerate as the fibre project comes to an end and 3G is switched off.

Jansen added: “It’s a rolling programme (of cuts), but it’s a five-to-seven-year landing zone.”2

The Communication Workers Union said the job cuts were “no surprise” given the upcoming changes.

The union said BT should look to keep staff and cut contractors.

The news comes days after Vodafone announced it was cutting 11,000 jobs around the world.

Jansen explained around 10,000 fewer network engineers would be needed to run digital networks, while AI tech would replace another 10,000 jobs.

He said there were “huge opportunities” to use AI and said he would use the fast-evolving technology to improve BT’s customer service.

He said: “We’re not going to be in a situation where people feel like they’re dealing with a robot.

“We’ve got multichannel, we’re online, we have got 450 stores, that’s not planning on changing.”

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A Communication Workers Union spokesperson said: “BT’s announcement to the City this morning that there will be a reduction from around 130,000 employees and subcontractors to around 90,000 over the next 5 to 7 years is no surprise.

“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.”

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