The United States tech giant Amazon will go on a hiring spree in the United Kingdom as online shopping continues to soar due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon to Hire More Workers
Amazon announced they will hire 10,000 UK employees as it opens more warehouses in the north and south of England. It is also creating a number of corporate roles in Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, and Manchester.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the move was a huge vote of confidence in the British economy.
The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a trend towards online shopping, and tech giants such as Amazon have reaped the benefits of it. Now, Amazon, which has previously denied allegations of poor working conditions, is further entrenching its position in the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
Aside from the 10,000 new roles, including thousands in its warehouses, the company will take its UK workforce to more than 55,000 by the end of the year. Amazon said that pay for operations roles is £9.70 per hour, or £10.80 in London, with additional benefits.
Amazon's profits tripled in the first three months of the year to $8.1 billion or £5.76 billion, up from $2.5 billion in 2020.
The online retail giant will open new fulfillment warehouses in Dartford, Hinckley, Gateshead, and Swindon, and a parcel receiver warehouse in Doncaster.
Furthermore, Amazon will recruit office roles in digital marketing, fashion, video production, engineering, software development, AI, cloud computing, and machine learning.
The company will also be recruiting for its Amazon Web Services or AWS cloud computing business and its operations network, according to Sky News.
Kwarteng said Amazon was making a prime investment in their retail sector, which will open up a wide range of opportunities for even more workers.
Amazon is also set to invest more than £10 million in the next three years into a scheme to train 5,000 employees in subjects including accountancy, software development, HGV driving, in a bid to give them transferable skills.
The company will pay 95% of tuition and associated fees for adult education courses, up to £8,000 over four years.
Local chambers of commerce will work with Amazon to identify the regional skills shortages. The director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, Shevaun Haviland, said that 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 the productivity and boosting the economy as the UK recovers from the pandemic.
John Boumphrey, Amazon's UK Country Manager, said that they are proud of the front-line roles that they offer across Amazon, and they also know that they will be a stepping stone for some in their career journey.
Amazon During the Pandemic
In response to the coronavirus pandemic last year, Amazon increased workers' pay by £2 an hour, but this rise was withdrawn in June, Bloomberg reported.
Some staff were employed to monitor distancing in warehouses, and ensure that overcrowding is avoided to follow health guidelines.
There is still no news on whether or not Amazon will push the hourly pay to £2 again, but what is certain is that the company will hire as much people as possible to increase employment.
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Written by Sophie Webster