BT creates hundreds of jobs in West Midlands

BT will create more than 300 new customer service jobs in the West Midlands, the telecoms giant has promised.The company said on Friday that the jobs, to be created at its Providence Place complex in West Bromwich, Sandwell, followed "positive discussions between BT and the Communications Workers Union (CWU)".

BT will create more than 300 new customer service jobs in the West Midlands, the telecoms giant has promised.

The company said on Friday that the jobs, to be created at its Providence Place complex in West Bromwich, Sandwell, followed "positive discussions between BT and the Communications Workers Union (CWU)".

"We all know how difficult the job market is, so the fact BT is bringing more than 300 further roles to the area is great news and is a reflection of the efforts and cooperation of both the CWU and Sandwell council," BT chief Ian Livingston said in a statement.

According to BT, the CWU discussions "helped ensure the new jobs are permanent BT roles, rather than third-party roles, and are based in the UK". The firm added that recruitment began last week and the jobs will be in place early next year.

The telco, which recently announced a 36 percent bump in quarterly pre-tax profits, had previously promised to create 450 jobs at the complex. It said on Friday that the 300 new jobs, when added to those already created, meant the company will "more than deliver on that promise".

BT has frequently had a thorny relationship with the CWU, which threatened strike action last year but ended up agreeing a long-term pay deal with the company. The union represents BT workers in call-centre positions and engineering and support functions.

CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr said on Friday that the new jobs deal was "the best scenario as it offers job security and real investment for the local economy".

"We hope that this model will be used in the future to create more permanent UK-based jobs in BT customer services and other areas," Kerr said. A CWU spokesman explained to ZDNet UK on Monday that the model Kerr referred to was that of "the union and company working together to protect and develop jobs".