Amazon in recruitment drive with plans to add 2,500 UK jobs

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Amazon is boosting its UK workforce with plans to add 2,500 permanent jobs across the business by the end of the year.

The online retail giant said the jobs would be across “all levels of experience” and include software developers, engineers, technicians and those seeking entry level positions and on-the-job training.

Amazon UK’s country manager Doug Gurr refused to detail how many of the jobs will be directed towards its warehouses, though the company confirmed 16 of its warehouses were set to recruit.

The company said around 650 roles would be created across its development centres and cloud computing division Amazon Web Services.

Amazon UK’s head office – based in London – is also set to hire “hundreds” of staff.

It will bring the total number of staff in the UK to 27,500 by the end of 2018, with Amazon having invested more than £9.3 billion in its local operations since 2010.

Mr Gurr said: “The UK is a fantastic place to do business so we are delighted to continue our investment in the British economy and provide quality, permanent roles for people the length and breadth of the country.

“Whether you are looking for an entry-level role or in highly-specialised fields such as speech science or machine learning, we are proud to be expanding our UK workforce so we can further improve our products and services like AmazonFresh, Prime Video and Amazon Alexa.”

The 2,500 jobs mark a slowdown from the 5,000 jobs Amazon added to its UK workforce last year, but Mr Gurr said: “That honestly is simply a reflection of where calendar years happen to fall.”

He added: “Broadly speaking over the long period I’d say it’s a continuing story of investing at the rate of which we’ve always wanted to invest.”

The news comes days after the GMB union accused the company of “terrible conditions and poor treatment of workers” at Amazon warehouses.

It cited a series of Freedom of Information requests showing ambulances had been called out 600 times to 14 Amazon warehouses over the last three financial years, and that in more than half of those cases patients were taken to hospital.

The union also noted a survey of GMB members working at Amazon warehouses, which found that 87% were in “constant or occasional pain due to their workload”.

When asked about the quality of jobs available at Amazon, Mr Gurr told journalists on Wednesday: “We’re very transparent, we’re proud of the conditions. We provide … health insurance, we provide pensions, we provide shares.

“We’re very proud of the working conditions across all parts of our business.”

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