Altice Europe-owned SFR unveiled plans to cut 11 per cent of its workforce this year as part of a strategy to advance digital efforts, which include continued high levels of investment in fixed and mobile infrastructure.

SFR stated it expected up to 1,700 staff members to leave on a voluntary basis by the end of 2021 and is is already in discussion with employee representatives on the issue. Some 400 of the cuts are directly related to slashing its physical retail footprint, as an increasing number of its customers switch to online channels.

The company added it planned to recruit 1,000 graduates in the next four years focused on “new skilled digital professions” spanning cybersecurity, data analysts and AI. It will also offer reskilling and training for current employees.

Changes in the composition of its workforce come as part of a strategic plan for the years up to and including 2025 unveiled yesterday (3 March).

SFR highlighted the plan was intended to help it consolidate its position as the second largest operator in the French market by continuing “massive” infrastructure investments and “simplifying” the organisation.

It added its moves were “in-line with digitisation uses of its customers and employees”.

In 2025, SFR aims to be able to serve more than 90 per cent of French households with fibre and cover more than 98 per cent of urban areas with populations exceeding 10,000 with 5G. It also plans to continue densification work on its 4G network.