Vodafone UK is stripping out 375 mainly back office personnel in an attempt to put the emphasis on better understanding what customers need. The job losses are scheduled to take place in the next two weeks with roles within HR, marketing, finance and technology disappearing.
The UK HR manager, Matthew Brearley, said that this action was to remove layers that come between Vodafone and the customer. "We're committed to increasing the number of customer facing employees which will help us simplify our business and continue to deliver outstanding communications services across the UK's best network."
The telecoms union Prospect has registered serious concerns about the size of the cuts and the complete lack of consultation, claiming to have learnt of the job cuts via the press. The union has now said that Vodafone plans to make over 500 people redundant, an issue that the company stresses is incorrect.
In an email to Vodafone staff, CEO Guy Laurence said: "I want to let you know about some changes we are making in our business today which will result in the loss of around 375 roles from March 2010." He also appeared to raise the possibility of more cuts, adding: "There will also be further changes as we make our business more effective."
On a brighter note, Vodafone has announced it will be recruiting 170 staff for customer roles including sales, retail and customer care, while also hiring 50 graduates from the 3,000 that applied for positions. It is the first time Vodafone has launched a formal graduate programme, which is likely to be available on an annual basis in the future.
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