Vital contribution made to economy continues during Covid-19 pandemic
BT Group’s activities in Wales support more than 12,000 jobs across the country, according to an independent report published this week.
According to the report by consultancy firm Hatch, the communications and technology company supported 1 in every 70 employees working in the private sector in Wales during the last financial year.
BT Group directly employs nearly 5,000 (4,560) people in Wales, making it one of the nation’s biggest private sector employers. The report estimates that those directly employed by BT Group in Wales earned £146 million in wages and salaries.
The Group also spent £340 million with suppliers based in Wales in financial year 2019/20, which also resulted in significant benefits for the Welsh economy.
The combined impact of BT Group’s activities in Wales contributes almost £1bn (£971 million) to the Welsh economy, according to the analysis.
The report includes the contribution of all parts of BT Group, including Openreach and mobile network provider EE.
According to the report, BT Group employed people across all parts of Wales in 2019/20:
|South East Wales||2,830|
|South West Wales||992|
|North of Wales||573|
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.
A report commissioned by BT last year – focussed on agriculture and tourism in rural Wales – highlighted how connected smart technology could help rural sectors and communities thrive.
Nick Speed, BT Group’s director in Wales, said:
“I’m really proud of the contribution our colleagues make in supporting the Welsh economy. At an important time for the economy and jobs, our spending on people, networks and suppliers, provides a vital economic boost across Wales. The wider impact of that spending helps to sustain communities and small businesses in all parts of Wales.
“The challenges posed by Covid-19 have highlighted the vital role BT Group plays in supporting families, businesses and communities across Wales. From the engineers who keep our broadband and mobile networks connected, to the vital contact centre staff helping people when they need it most. I’m proud also of the role our people are playing in supporting the NHS in Wales during the crisis.”
BT’s Consumer contact centres now handle 100% of customer calls in the UK, including centres in Swansea and Merthyr Tudful. 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.
Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said:
“Covid-19 has undoubtedly changed the way we live and work over the past twelve months, and companies like BT have been at the forefront of keeping us in touch with friends, colleagues and loved ones during an extremely challenging period. This year, perhaps more than at any other time, we have come to understand the true value of connectivity.
“Even amid these trying circumstances, it’s great to see just how significantly BT has invested in Wales and its communities. The scale of that investment is enormous and its value and impact can be felt in high quality local jobs, economic growth and across supply chains the length and breadth of Wales.”
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.”
Across Wales in 2019/20:
- 5,060 BT Group employees live in the nation (FTE)
- 4,600 BT Group employees work in the nation (FTE)
- £146 million total income of BT Group employees working in the nation
- £340 million spend with suppliers based in the nation
- £971 million total GVA impact (including indirect and induced effects)
- BT Group employed 1 in every 170 employees working in the private sector, and 1 in every 4 employees working in the IT and communications sectors
- £1 in every £130 of GVA is generated directly by BT Group
- BT Group supported 1 in every 70 employees working in the private sector and £1 in every £60 of GVA as a result of BT Group’s full economic impact