This isn't new
Contractors have been used by Openreach for teh last few years.
When LLU hit them the Exchange Engineers(frames) buckled under the demand for 1000's of peope per exchange to be migrated as soon as the equipment went live. They jsut couldn't do it.
Contractors were brought in to do the bulk of LLU work and to create a stop gap in the shortage as staff retired. No new staff were brought on and at about this time last year BTO started to tell the contractor companies to lay their staff off. There are hardly any if not no, contracting staff left and BTO are already feeling the strain on the workload that this has caused. They cant afford to employ on the current deal their staff now enjoy and will save a huge packet by having the staff pushed out to be contractors. Even the CSE's struggle to cope with the work that is asked of them, everyday jobs are being ditched as the engineers just dont have the time to get all the work in.
When BTO go this way it will truly flop on its belly as the contractors just wont care about the work they do(been there and seen it 1st hand) and faults will go thru the roof, an thus cost them more in downtime and rebates.
BTO are trying to scrimp and save and in this area i think they are taking a very high risk of cutting their nose of to spite their face.
This can only end in tears for customers.