Amazon to recruit 7,000 permanent workers in UK during 2020 hiring spree

The online retail giant’s UK workforce looks set to expand to 40,000 employees by the end of 2020, as its network of fulfilment centres continues to grow

Caroline Donnelly

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Published: 03 Sep 2020 14:16

E-commerce giant Amazon is embarking on a UK-wide hiring spree that will see it add a further 7,000 permanent staff to its workforce by the end of 2020.

The recruitment push will result in the size of its permanent UK workforce swelling to more than 40,000 people, with a further 20,000 temporary workers set to join the firm in the run-up to Christmas, the company confirmed.

Its new permanent recruits will be joining the company in a variety of different roles and locations, within its corporate offices and across its expanding UK network of fulfilment and delivery centres.

This year has already seen the company open a high-tech fulfilment centre in Darlington, County Durham, which is kitted out with Amazon’s robotics technology. Several more of these sites are set to open later this year in Durham and Sutton-in-Ashfield.

According to Amazon, each one of these sites will be instrumental in the creation of more than 1,000 permanent roles across the organisation.

The types of permanent roles it will be hiring for in its corporate offices will include individuals with skills in engineering, IT, human resources, health and safety, and finance, while – on the fulfilment side – the focus will be on hiring people to assist with packaging up customer orders, it added.

News of the hiring spree comes several months after the company set out plans to recruit 100,000 workers across the US to ensure it had capacity to cope with the huge surge in online orders being placed by consumers at the onset of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

On this point, business secretary Alok Sharma said the firm’s UK-wide recruitment spree was “hugely encouraging” to see at a time when many businesses across the world are suffering as a result of the economic turmoil caused by Covid-19.

“This is not only great news for those looking for a new job, but also a clear vote of confidence in the UK economy as we build back better from the pandemic,” said Sharma. “The government remains deeply committed to supporting retailers of all sizes and we continue to work closely with the industry as we embark on the road to economic recovery.”

Stefano Perego, vice-president of European customer fulfilment at Amazon, said the new recruits would have an important role to play in ensuring the company continues to meet the needs of its customers as the pandemic progresses.

“Our people have played a critical role in serving customers in these unprecedented times and the new roles will help us continue to meet customer demand and support small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon,” said Perego.

“The new state-of-the-art robotics fulfilment centres in the north-east and the Midlands, as well as the thousands of additional roles at sites across the country, underline our commitment to the people and communities in which we operate.

“We are employing thousands of talented individuals in a diverse range of good jobs from operations managers and tech professionals through to people to handle customer orders,” he added.

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