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Amazon To Add 5,000 Staff In UK This Year

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The company plans to hire more than 15,000 staff across Europe by the end of 2017

Amazon said it plans to take on 5,000 full-time staff in the UK this year, including positions across all skill levels and around the country.

The company claimed it grew from 40,000 to more than 50,000 staff across Europe during the course of last year and is seeking to hire more than 15,000 new European employees by the end of 2017.

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Range of positions

The e-commerce giant’s new hires would take its overall UK workforce to more than 24,000.

The new positions include everything from software engineers to entry-level warehouse staff.

Amazon said it planned to hire at its head office in London, a development centre in Cambridge, an Edinburgh customer service centre and in three new warehouses in Tilbury, Doncaster and Daventry.

The company said it needs the warehouse space to cope with existing growth for its own deliveries as well as those it handles on the part of third-party suppliers who sell through its site.

It noted third-party retail growth has been particularly strong.

Amazon is also launching an apprenticeship scheme offering training opportunities in engineering, logistics and warehouse jobs.

“We are hiring for all types of roles from flight test engineers, software engineers and corporate managers in our development centres and head office, to operations managers, supervisors, engineers, service technicians, HR roles and order fulfilment roles in our fulfilment centres,” said Amazon UK country manager Doug Gurr.

Launch-pad for services

The UK is Amazon’s second-largest market outside the US, after Germany, and the company often uses the UK to launch services ultimately destined for the US.

That includes Amazon Fresh, a grocery service launched in the UK last June, as well as the Prime Air drone delivery service, which made its first delivery to a Cambridge property adjacent to its warehouse in December.

Amazon’s Cambridge development centre also contributed to engineering work on the drone service after the British government lifted restrictions on drone trials.

Last November the company was accused of “illegal” employment practices after drivers told an undercover BBC reporter they were expected to deliver up to 200 parcels a day, worked longer than the legal limit and weren’t allowed time for toilet breaks.

Amazon responded that it was committed to ensuring its drivers – who work as independent contracotrs – drive safely and legally and are fairly compensated.

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