Amazon to create 1,000 UK warehouse roles

Amazon to create 1,000 UK warehouse roles

Amazon is to create 1,000 new, permanent roles at its UK warehouses in the coming months, bringing its total permanent UK fulfilment centre workforce up to 7,000.

John Tagawa, director of UK operations at Amazon, said the increase was down to seeing "greater demand" from customers.

“Over the past two years, we have added well in excess of 2,000 new employees to our workforce and we are delighted to be able to add a further 1,000 to that number over the coming months," he added.

Amazon has eight warehouses, also called fulfilment centres, in the UK and has invested more than £1b in its UK operations.

Working conditions at Amazon's warehouses in the UK have been criticised, with a "Panorama" documentary last year going undercover at the company's Swansea warehouse, and a petition launched by campaign group Amazon Anonymous to call for warehouse workers to be paid the Living Wage.

In its announcement about the new staff, Amazon said it has "continued to implement new programmes and ways of working for the benefit of its entire workforce" as part of its investment in the UK.

Permanent staff, called associates by Amazon, start on an average of £7.39 per hour and earn up to £8.90 per hour after 24 months. Staff also receive stock grants after one year, which Amazon said had added an average of 12% to base pay annually over the past five years. Also among the measures are four 10-hour shifts a week for staff, which means they "benefit from three days off every week" because "fewer visits to work saves associates both time and money on a weekly basis".

The online retailer said it had also introduced the Amazon Career Choice Programme, an education programme which pre-pays 95% of tuition and associated fees for permanent employees to undertake nationally recognised courses.