Amazon has announced that it’s looking to fill 7,000 new permanent roles in the U.K. by the end of the year to make up for increased demand caused by locked down high streets. Once the vacancies are filled, the firm will have a workforce of over 40,000 in the U.K.
The firm said that it has already filled 3,000 new permanent roles this year across its network of fulfilment centres. The 7,000 new roles will take the total to 10,000 new jobs this year. In addition, Amazon has started recruiting for 20,000 seasonal positions across the U.K. for people looking for some temporary work.
Commenting on the new jobs, Stefano Perego, Amazon’s Vice President of European Customer Fulfilment, said:
“We’re proud to be creating 10,000 new permanent roles across our UK network of fulfilment centres, sort centres and delivery stations offering competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one. 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.”
The U.K.’s business secretary, Alok Sharma, said that the news was “hugely encouraging” at a time when businesses have been struggling. He added:
“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. 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.”
Amazon said it’ll pay workers in London a minimum of £10.50 per hour where the cost of living is higher. In the rest of the country, workers should expect a minimum of £9.50 per hour. These rates of pay apply to full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal roles.
Despite the higher-than-minimum-wage pay, Amazon has constantly received criticism in the U.K. for its labour practices which have been the subject of many news investigations and have been criticised by trade unions. In February, GMB trade union called conditions at Amazon “hellish” and reported that 600 people have been seriously injured or have narrowly avoided an accident in the last three years.