Commenting on BT’s first quarter results the Communication Workers Union welcomed confirmation of job creation and commitment to apprenticeships on the back of a generally positive financial performance. Revenues have declined in Global Services due to difficult conditions in Europe and the financial sector, but the company reported strong performances in BT Retail, Wholesale and Openreach and showed an overall increase in pre-tax profit of 8 per cent.
Andy Kerr, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “It’s good to see a positive set of results from BT which includes welcome news of 2,000 jobs being created in 2012 and strong performances across three key business divisions.
“In the current tough economic times, the elements of job creation are particularly welcome. These are the culmination of announcements throughout the year and we hope it is a trend which will continue. Only last week, BT won a major contract to roll out high-speed broadband in Wales, which the CWU directly supported and which will bring jobs to Wales.
“We are working with BT to secure more direct labour jobs in the company, including through the return of work from offshore and the conversion of temporary workers and contractors. Many of the 2,000 new jobs will be apprentices and, in addition, many of the other roles will be taken up by young people. BT has taken a lead in the UK on this and the CWU would ask that other companies follow them in creating jobs for UK youth as record unemployment continues to blight the lives of over one million young people.”
Responding to comments made by BT chief executive Ian Livingston regarding the dedication of staff during peak work periods brought on by heavy rainfall, Andy said “It is good to see Ian Livingston thanking Openreach engineers and customer service staff for their hard work dealing with high volumes of faults and calls caused by bad weather, especially recent floods. They have shown total commitment in meeting this challenge and this is another reason why the CWU is keen to ensure there is enough permanent resource to manage these situations without undue pressure on the workforce.”
CWU supports the recent investment by BT in Premier League football rights. This has impacted cash flow, but promises to be a worthwhile investment that drives demand for BT Vision, makes BT Broadband a more viable proposition and helps BT to grow revenues and profits.