‘Absolutely appalling!’ BT blasted over diversity push as telecoms giant plans to cut rural jobs

‘Absolutely appalling!’ BT blasted over diversity push as telecoms giant plans to cut rural jobs

Albie Amankona hits out at BT's diversity push

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 26/09/2023

- 17:50

Updated: 26/09/2023

- 17:49

The company is planing to cut 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade

BT’s bid to cut rural jobs in a new diversity drive has come under fire in a scathing GB News rant.

An executive from the telecoms giant says their diversity targets are partly behind their push to move jobs from rural areas to city centres.

The company is cutting a significant number of jobs as part of a cost-cutting plans which will see offices shut or scaled down.

Speaking on GB News, political commentator Albie Amankona was critical of the ploy, branding it “absolutely appalling”.

Albie Amankona, Isabel Webster, Eamonn Holmes and Amy Nickell-Turner

GB News Breakfast broke out into debate about whether diversity has gone too far


“I just think it’s absolutely absurd”, he told Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster.

“I was reading this week that if you live within a commutable distance of London, Birmingham or Manchester, and you’re from a socioeconomic background, you are more likely to earn more money in your lifetime.


“So you’re already at an advantaged position if you live within a commutable distance of a major city in this country.

“For BT, the country’s biggest telecoms provider to say ‘we’re going to hire from cities, not rural areas,’ it’s absolutely appalling.

“It is appalling because the opportunities for people in rural areas are much less.”

Rural hubs such as Adastral Park in Martlesham, Suffolk, will be removing roles and cutting 1,100 jobs as a result.

BT Tower and Albie Amankona

Albie Amankona has hit out at BT's diversity drive


Staff are being offered the chance to move to a city location.

In comments made during a summer meeting which were then leaked to the Mail on Sunday, BT chief networks officer Howard Watson told staff the company would be able to “improve diversity and inclusion” by hiring in “many more places”.

The company’s workforce is 35.7 per cent female, with 10.8 per cent from an ethnic minority and 6.5 per cent are disabled.

BT are planning to boost the rates to 32 per cent female, 13 per cent ethnic minority and 10 per cent disabled by 2025.

A BT spokesman said: “We’re investing to deliver a modern Adastral Park, recognising it remains an essential site for the success of BT Group.

“Our need to relocate some roles reflects UK-wide efforts to focus investment into fewer but more modern buildings for our people.

“Locating these are the heart of the widest pools of regional talent will enable BT Group to recruit a workforce with the range of future skills we need and fully representative of the customers we support.”

BT has said it plans to cut 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade from a workforce of 130,000.

You may like