Business

Amazon to create 7,000 UK jobs

Amazon to create 7,000 UK jobs

Amazon to create 7,000 UK jobs

Amazon has said it will create a further 7,000 UK jobs this year to meet growing demand.

So far, the retail giant has already created 3,000 roles in 2020, and by the end of the year, it would have created 10,000 new jobs.

The new UK jobs will take Amazon’s UK workforce to more than 40,000.

Amazon says the new jobs will be permanent and pay £9.50 an hour. It is planning to recruit a further 20,000 for seasonal roles over the festive period. 

The company has faced criticism in the past from unions over the way it treats staff and health and safety. 

Crisis and lockdown leads to shifting trends

The pandemic crisis and lockdowns, which saw High Street shops close for months, prompted a massive growth in online shopping, with Amazon benefiting greatly. 

The latest retail sales figures showed the UK online sales in July were more than 50% higher than pre-pandemic levels in February. 28.9% in July. 

Whilst the pandemic forced people out of work, Amazon hired thousands of workers and it says many of them are now able to move into these new permanent roles. 

The company is recruiting at more than 50 sites. It said the creation of the new roles, which will include engineers, graduates, human resources, IT, health and safety and finance specialists, as well as teams who pick, pack and ship customer orders, was in response to growing customer demand. 

“At the centre of the job creation programme are three new, state-of-the-art fulfilment centres in Darlington, Durham and Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, each fitted out with advanced Amazon Robotics technology and each creating more than 1,000 new permanent roles,” the firm said in a statement.

“Construction of these new fulfilment centres began last year. Darlington started operations in May and the sites in Durham and Sutton-in-Ashfield will launch later this autumn.”

Amazon’s “huge expansion” in the UK “comes as little surprise, given the massive surge in sales the tech giant has experienced, as the e-commerce sector boomed during the pandemic,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“Despite spending billions of dollars gearing itself up to operate through the coronavirus crisis, Amazon still delivered a huge increase in profits during the second quarter.

“With expansion planned right across the UK, High Street retailers are going to have to deliver some dramatic changes if they’re to compete with the king of e-commerce,” she added.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the pandemic had been a “challenging time for many businesses” but that the new Amazon jobs were “hugely encouraging”.

High Street retailers are among firms who have been cutting jobs in recent months, due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as the government’s job retention scheme starts to come to an end. 

Employees on the UK payrolls fell by 730,000 between March to July, according to the most recent figures. 

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