Amazon says it will hire 10,000 new permanent staff this year to take its UK workforce to more than 55,000 people, as it expands its delivery network and teams in areas from machine learning and AI to digital marketing.
At the same time it will invest £10m to train up 5,000 employees in new skills,
New corporate jobs will be in areas including fashion, digital marketing, video production, software development, AI, machine learning and cloud computing while operations jobs will be in areas from engineering to finance and fulfilment.
They come as Amazon prepares to open a parcel receiving centre in Doncaster and new fulfilment centres in the East Midlands, with 700 jobs, and in Dartford, Gateshead and Swindon, with more than 1,300 jobs each.
Amazon UK country manager John Boumphrey says: “We’re proud of the front-line roles we offer across Amazon, and we also know that they will be a stepping stone for some in their career journey. For people whose ambitions fall outside of our company, we are pleased to support them by paying for training and academic courses that can get them to where they want to be.”
The investment in training comes through Amazon’s Career Choice programme, which funds up to 95% of tuition and fees worth up to £8,000 over four years for courses leading to nationally recognised qualifications. These range from accountancy to to software development and HGV driving and enable employees to move beyond Amazon. Firms in the British Chambers of Commerce network will provide work experience and mentoring for future professions. The new programme is on top of an existing programme to create 1,000 full time apprenticeships in areas including software engineering and digital design.
Amazon’s hiring programme, with the promise of the UK living wage and competitive benefits, comes at a time when the UK economy has started to expand in anticipation of the end of lockdown 3.0 and an expected economic recovery. The CIPD has said companies are reporting their strongest employment intentions in a year, but that uncertainties around the Covid-19 pandemic remain. Meanwhile, a long-term shortage of logistics staff is set to be exacerbated by the end of freedom of movement post-Brexit and the introduction of a new points-based immigration scheme.
Amazon is an Elite retailer in RXUK Top500 research.