Amazon has revealed plans to create 5,000 more jobs in the UK this year – boosting its workforce by over a quarter.
The company said the roles with “competitive pay” would be across the business, from software developers, engineers and technicians to entry-level positions and on-the-job training. They will be based across its UK head office in London; Customer Service Centre in Edinburgh; Fashion Photography Studio in Shoreditch and other fulfilment centres across the UK.
New jobs will also be created at its Development Centres in Cambridge, Edinburgh and London where employees work on global customer innovations like Alexa, Prime Air and Prime Video.
The extra staff will see the company’s overall UK employees grow by 26% to 24,000.
The move has been seen as some as a sign of commitment to the UK following its vote to leave the European Union last June.
Doug Gurr, UK country manager for Amazon, said: “We are creating thousands of new UK jobs including hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities as we continue to innovate for our customers and provide them with even faster delivery, more selection and better value… We are also proud to empower many thousands of others to work alongside Amazon in serving our customers – from Marketplace sellers to Flex delivery drivers to Kindle Direct Publishing authors.”
Amazon said it plans to hire “as many individuals as possible” from staff occupying its seasonal positions into the new roles, and said that over 10,000 of its current 19,000 staff first began in a seasonal role.
The company has also announced a new apprenticeship programme today (20th February) , which it says will offer “hundreds” of apprenticeship opportunities in engineering, logistics and warehousing.
Amazon UK will move into a new 600,00 sq ft head office this year in the 15-storey Principal Place in Shoreditch, East London.
The e-commerce giant has faced criticism in the past for paying little tax on high sales in the UK, claiming that instead its sales were booked through its European headquarters in Luxembourg. It changed its financial reporting practices to avoid the diverted profits tax, known commonly as the Google Tax, which came into force on 1st April 2015, which imposes a 25% tax on the profits of companies which artificially move earnings outside of the UK. As a result, Amazon began booking sales through the UK in May 2015.
However, The Bookseller reported in July that Amazon paid less tax in the UK in 2015 than a year earlier after accounts filed at Companies House for its UK Amazon Services arm, which relates to the company’s fulfilment operation and distribution centres in Britain, showed it paid just £9.8m in tax to the UK authorities, down from £11.9m a year earlier on £946.5m in sales through the UK for the year to 31st December 2015 (up 39% from a year earlier), and made a profit of £38.7m, up 72% from £22.5m a year earlier.
Sales via Amazon.co.uk grew by 8.3% last year to £6.8bn ($9bn) according to the accounts of its US parent.