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BT Group Adds £1.2 billion to the Scottish Economy, Report Finds

Ross Kelly

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BT Group

BT Group employs one in every 10 people across Scotland’s IT and communications sector.

A new report published this week shows that BT Group, its contractors and suppliers are responsible for supporting more than 12,000 jobs in Scotland.

Published by consultancy firm Hatch, the Economic Impact of BT Group in the UK report calculates that the communications and technology firm generated over £24 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy during the last financial year.

In Scotland, the report shows that BT group generated £1.2 billion.

An estimated 12,400 full-time jobs in Scotland are supported by BT Group through direct and indirect effects, the report suggests. The firm also spent £167 million with suppliers based in Scotland, including those in the retail, construction and telecommunications industries.

Commenting on the report findings, BT Group’s head of external affairs in Scotland, Mark Dames, said: “I’m immensely proud of the contribution our colleagues make in supporting the Scottish economy.

“At an important time for our country, our spending on people, networks and suppliers provides a vital economic boost. The wider impact of that spending helps to sustain communities and small businesses right across Scotland.”

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. In Scotland, the firm directly employs 7,240 people, with a further 205 employed as contractors.

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.

BT Group also announced plans to refurbish and expand its office in Glasgow as well as confirming plans for offices in Edinburgh and Dundee.

The report publication follows news last week that BT plans to recruit dozens more apprentices and graduates across Scotland for its September 2021 intake.

Openreach, which is a part of the broader BT Group, announced in December that it intends to create 275 new full-time engineering roles across the country throughout 2021.

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CBI Scotland Director Tracy Black commented: “With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to have an unparalleled impact on our economy, and society, it’s great to see companies like BT continue to invest so significantly in Scotland and its communities.

“The value and impact of that investment is felt in high-quality local jobs, economic growth and cross supply chains the length and breadth of the country.”

Black added: “As we look to build high tech, high skilled and more sustainable economy for the future, companies like BT will be at the heart of delivering the technology and connectivity needed to transform that vision into reality.

“The last twelve months, perhaps more than any other time, have shown us the value of true connectivity, not just for business and the economy, but for maintaining social connections and aiding mental health.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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