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Vodafone cuts more staff

More shop assistants, fewer management

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Vodafone will be 375 heads smaller by the end of March, though in the next few months company will apparently be recruiting an additional 170 "customer facing" individuals.

The cuts are part of the ongoing programme designed to cut £1bn from operating costs by next year, but also continue the commitment to put more faces in front of customers and fewer back-end staff supporting the network. By happy coincidence, shop staff also happen to be cheaper to employ.

All the UK's mobile operators are struggling to maintain profits in a fiercely competitive market, competing against each other to get money out of increasingly savvy customers, while scrapping with a plethora of disruptive companies from Skype (eating away at voice revenue) to Apple (eating away at ringtone revenue).

The merger of T-Mobile and Orange should reduce competition slightly, but that's also expected to see something in the region of 2,000 staff on the streets. We won't know the details for a while yet, but that's the market in which Vodafone UK will be competing.

Vodafone tells us it will also be taking on 50 graduates in September, selected from 3,000 who applied to its graduate programme. Figures like that would worry us if we were coming up for finals.

Last week UK premium services regulator PhonepayPlus renewed its free lesson plans and information packs, helping kids to develop business plans for the mobile industry: so someone thinks there'll still be jobs in the industry a decade or two from now. ®

Bootnote: This story has been updated since Vodafone got in touch to let us know that the 375 figure did not include the new recruits, who won't be joining before the end of March so didn't count.

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