Amazon extends hiring spree with 10,000 permanent UK jobs

The new jobs will include about 2,000 jobs in fulfillment and parcel reception centres.
The new jobs will include about 2,000 jobs in fulfillment and parcel reception centres.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Amazon.com will hire 10,000 more people in Britain, taking its total headcount in the country to 55,000 by the end of 2021.

The jobs will be in corporate offices across London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cambridge, as well as roles in Amazon Web Services and operations, the company said in a statement on Friday (May 14). UK business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng welcomed the announcement, calling it a "huge vote of confidence in the British economy."

It comes a day after the world's largest online retailer said it's hiring 75,000 workers for its sprawling North American logistics operation, a sign that the company expects increased demand to outlast the pandemic. The Seattle-based tech giant hired some 500,000 people last year, putting its total headcount at 1.3 million at the end of March.

The 10,000 new jobs, on par with Amazon's additions in the UK last year, will include roles in fashion, digital marketing, engineering, video production, software development, cloud computing and AI, the company said. It also includes about 2,000 jobs in fulfillment and parcel reception centers.

The company touted its competitive pay and "systems to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all employees." Still, Amazon has come under fire for how it's treated workers, particularly warehouse and delivery staff who became frontline workers during the pandemic. Strikes and protests have become more common since the Covid-19 outbreak began, even in the US where attempts to unionize have been unsuccessful.

Amazon said the pay for operations roles will start at £10.80 (S$20.27) per hour in London and 9.70 per hour in the rest of the UK. Employees are also entitled to private medical insurance, life insurance, income protection and an employee discount, worth about £700 a year.

Amazon announced last month that it would offer raises to more than 500,000 of its hourly workers, spending US$1 billion (S$1.33 billion) on pay bumps to increase hiring at its logistics division. The increased wages follow Amazon chief executive officer Jeff Bezos's comments to shareholders that the company would work "to do a better job for employees."