Amazon To Create 1,500 Apprenticeships In UK

Amazon continues to ramp up its British workforce with the announcement on Wednesday that it will create 1,500 new apprenticeships in the UK during 2022.

The e-commerce giant also revealed it had grown its UK workforce by 25,000 during 2021, taking the total number of its UK workforce to 70,000.

It comes after BT announced last week that it will hire more than 600 apprentices and graduates this year, despite uncertainties caused by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon apprenticeships

The recruitment drive comes as companies around the world report skills shortages caused by the ‘great resignation’, as thousands of people reassess their work-life balance during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon’s UK country manager John Boumphrey, was quoted by the BBC as saying that Amazon was “proud” to have created the 1,500 apprenticeships which would “help even more people get the skills that are in demand in today’s labour market.”

“We want to be the employer that helps people take their careers to the next level, whether you’re just starting your first job or making a career change, in every community that we serve across the UK,” he reportedly said.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, said the announcement is “testament to the strength of the British economy, with GDP back at pre-pandemic levels, employee numbers at record highs and unemployment falling”.

“With the vast majority of Amazon’s workforce located outside of London and the South East, these additional 25,000 jobs highlight the success of our Plan for Jobs in helping to ensure greater opportunities across the country,” he said.

The 1,500 apprenticeship roles Amazon will create, also reportedly includes 200 degree apprenticeships, which enable applicants to gain a qualification alongside a full-time job, as well as 500 schemes for existing staff to upskill.

UK investment

Amazon reportedly said it has invested 32 billion pounds ($43.3 billion) in the UK since 2010, although it unclear how this investment was allocated, and whether it was for example the costs associated with acquiring land and building warehouse (fulfilment centres in Amazon’s parlance).

Last September Amazon said it would hire 55,000 people for corporate and technology roles globally.

That came on on top of previous hiring sprees.

In March 2020, Amazon had announced that it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the US, to cope with demand during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Then in May 2021 Amazon said it was creating 10,000 new corporate and operations jobs in the UK, and investing £10 million over three years to train up to 5,000 employees in new skills.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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