BT has announced it will recruit around 1,000 new people at its flagship Birmingham office, as the building welcomes its first colleagues through the doors.
The company says it will create the new jobs over the coming months and years, with around 225 roles currently available. The employment boost comes as construction work was completed on Three Snowhill, which will serve as BT's regional hub site for the Midlands. The state-of-the-art new office, built over 17 floors, houses the latest technology and modern facilities that allow colleagues to perform at their best.
BT colleagues have been taking part in induction sessions as part of a phased return to the office over the next few weeks following the end of Covid-19 restrictions. In addition to recent new hires and colleagues moving in from other locations, there are currently 225 vacant roles available in areas such as digital, data, analytics, sales and HR. The new office will eventually accommodate around 3,500 colleagues from across BT Group, including digital network business Openreach.
Philip Jansen, chief executive, BT Group, said:'This is our first major regional hub site to open outside London and is a marker of how BT is transforming to meet the needs of our colleagues and our customers.
'It's also a statement that we're serious about the 'levelling up' agenda. While our head office remains in London, we are committed to creating more opportunities and basing key operations in other areas of the UK too. A number of our senior leaders are now based here in Birmingham, as well as colleagues from across the business in a wide variety of roles, including exciting new technology research and digital product development functions.
'Three Snowhill epitomises what we are trying to achieve through our new workspaces, and we continue to work towards that vision of providing future-fit, inspiring offices where people can collaborate, innovate and ultimately deliver the best for our customers and the best for our business.'
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:'It really is fantastic to see BT complete their switch to a new flagship office at Three Snowhill with the first of their colleagues moving in.
'Not only is it a huge sign of confidence in the West Midlands that a company of BT's size and stature is investing in and committing to our region, but it is also brilliant news for people's livelihoods with around one thousand new jobs to be created.
'I look forward to working with BT to ensure these roles are filled by local people as part of my 100,000 jobs plan.'
The state-of-the art building will be the first of BT's hub locations in the UK to open as part of its 'Better Workplace Programme' - the largest workplace improvement and consolidation scheme of its type ever undertaken in the UK. Other hubs that will open in the future include Manchester, Bristol and the new London HQ. BT will reduce its footprint from over 300 locations to around 30.
BT's ambition is to increase efficiency and productivity, improving its ability to do the best for its customers. The Better Workplace Programme will deliver a combination of moves like this, into new offices, as well as the refurbishment of some existing BT buildings.
Elaine Bergin, BT director for colleague experience, who is based at Three Snowhill, said: 'This is a really exciting time for BT as we launch our new regional hub in Birmingham with some fantastic job opportunities for local people and those looking to move to the area.
'BT is a great company and Three Snowhill is an incredible place to work, so I would encourage anyone who may be interested to check out our careers websitebt.com/careerswhere more information and details on how to apply can be found.'
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic seeing many staff shift to home working over the past 18 months, BT still firmly believes in the future of the office.
Elaine added: 'We still see our shared workplaces as central to BT's future. They will be places where colleagues come together to connect, collaborate, learn and develop, build friendships and share their experiences.
'We recognise that colleagues need the opportunity to work flexibly, and we can enable that through hybrid working. However, particularly for younger individuals and those joining BT for the first time, the opportunity to learn those soft skills and form positive relationships by working together in the office is invaluable.'
BT is adopting a hybrid, flexible approach called 'Smart Working' where teams will choose how colleagues spend time between home and their office. Shared workplaces will continue to be central to the company's future.
Three Snowhill boasts smart building technology, flexible workspaces and collaboration areas. There are also a range of catering options including a ground floor café open to the public, world class event spaces, and a large media screen in reception. It also has a 'bike doctor' to encourage more colleagues to cycle to work.
BT will ensure it complies with all the latest guidelines on Covid-19 from Public Health England to ensure people are kept safe in the office. The company will be the main occupier of the 17-storey development, marking a major investment by the company in the UK's second city.
BT Group plays an important role in the West Midlands economy and is responsible for generating £1 in every £180 produced in the region, according to an independent report. It also generated £1.5 billion to the West Midlands economy in 'Gross Value Added' GVA, during the 2019/20 financial year.* BT Group directly employs 5,470 people across the region, with a further 600 employed as contractors.