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Amazon adds 25,000 workers in UK to handle Covid sales boom

Amazon recruited 15,000 more UK workers than expected last year as demand for home deliveries and digital services boomed during the pandemic.

The rise in jobs at the US technology giant took the total number of employees to 70,000 in the UK across warehousing and delivery teams, as well as its corporate and R&D functions.

Amazon, which has a market value of $ 1.5tn, has engaged in a global recruitment round in an effort to maintain delivery speeds and strengthen the next phase of its huge growth. The company has also pointed to its role as a huge job creator as its market power has been researched by regulators worldwide.

Amazon had previously announced that it would create 10,000 roles in the UK last year with a goal of reaching 55,000 permanent employees.

The total of 25,000 new UK jobs makes it a record year for employment in the US group. It comes just a day after UK retailer Tesco said it would lay off more than 1,000 jobs as it faced rapidly rising labor costs.

Many of the roles were created to provide permanent jobs to the thousands of people who had joined Amazon on time-limited contracts since the start of the pandemic, where the US group struggled to hire staff to meet demand, especially in the time up for Christmas.

Amazon opened a parcel center and four delivery centers last year, expanding its delivery station network. Salaries for operating roles have risen to £ 11.10 an hour in Greater London – up from £ 10 in June last year – and around £ 10 an hour in other parts of the UK.

A sign-up bonus of up to £ 3,000 was offered to a number of locations to attract new permanent and seasonal workers last year as the combination of Covid-related absenteeism, Brexit and a tight labor market caused staff shortages for many companies.

The new jobs span offices and R & D centers in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cambridge in areas such as digital marketing, engineering, video production, AI and machine learning.

Amazon’s expansion in 2021 also included the first 17 physical stores in the UK: 15 Amazon Fresh food stores in London and two Amazon four-star retail stores in London and Kent. The company said the 17 stores had created “hundreds of new jobs”.

Amazon will on Wednesday announce plans to create 1,500 apprenticeships in the UK by 2022, including over 200 degree-level roles and for more than 40 different schemes.

The UK government is expected to unveil plans this week to help “level up” regions in the UK, including ways to drive further job growth, in a long-awaited White Paper.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Britain’s business minister, highlighted that most of Amazon’s workforce was located outside London and the south-east.

The company said it had rolled out more than 1,000 apprenticeships in 2021, with a separate 1,000 training to become truck drivers during a period when distribution networks were under pressure.

Amazon said it had invested $ 32 billion. pounds in the UK since 2010. In 2020, total revenue from Amazon’s activities in the UK was 20.6 billion. pounds, up from 13.7 billion. pounds the year before. It invested more than £ 1.6bn. – against £ 690mn in 2019 – in the UK to expand its operating network and infrastructure.

The total direct accrued taxes reached DKK 492 million. GBP in 2020 from 293 million. GBP in 2019, although the majority of this was employer taxes. Amazon’s fourth quarter results are expected this week.

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