Amazon is embarking on a UK-wide hiring spree across its online retail and cloud computing business divisions, having committed to creating 10,000 new permanent jobs this year.
If it hits its hiring target, the company will have more than 55,000 people working for it in the UK by the end of this year.
The company’s job creation campaign will be geared towards increasing the number of permanent roles on offer within its corporate offices, its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing arm, and its parcel delivery and fulfilment centres.
“Corporate roles will be available in offices in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cambridge across a wide range of fields, including fashion, digital marketing, engineering, video production, software development, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning,” the company said in a statement.
“In operations, Amazon will open a parcel receive centre and four new fulfilment centres, as well as continue to expand its delivery station network, creating thousands of new permanent roles on teams including engineering, HR and IT, health and safety, finance, and those that pick, pack and ship customer orders.”
The company has also publicly committed to invest £10m over the next three years to cover course fees for up to 5,000 of its existing employees to retrain and pursue a career outside the company later down the line. This initiative is offered through the Amazon Career Choice programme.
The courses covered by the programme include software development training schemes, with Amazon offering to pre-pay 95% of the tuition and associated fees, worth up to £8,000 over four years.
Amazon has also pledged to work in collaboration with accredited chambers of commerce across the UK to identify localised skills shortages to ensure regional training needs are met through classroom-based learning and practical work experience placements, also as part of the Amazon Career Choice programme.
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Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), hailed the news as a “huge vote of confidence in the British economy” and described it as “a prime investment in our retail sector”.
He added: “Over the past year, Amazon’s workforce have pulled out all the stops to ensure consumers have had safe access to goods during this challenging time. Their latest investment will open up a wide range of opportunities for even more workers, helping to develop the skills needed to power tomorrow’s economy.”
On the skilling-up aspect of the news, Shevaun Haviland, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said Amazon’s work will have wide-ranging benefits for society at large.
“Providing staff with training to plug the skills gaps that exist within the local business community is going to be a key driver to increasing productivity and boosting the economy as the UK recovers from the pandemic,” said Haviland.
John Boumphrey, country manager for Amazon UK, added: “We are 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.”