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Amazon to create 7,000 new UK jobs after sales surge during pandemic

Online store has been one of biggest beneficiaries of rapid shift towards online shopping since Covid-19 struck

Ben Chapman
Thursday 03 September 2020 10:19 BST

Amazon is to create 7,000 new permanent UK jobs over the coming months to deal with surging sales since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The online retailer said it had already recruited an additional 3,000 permanent staff this year and is also looking to hire 20,000 temporary workers for Christmas.

Pay starts at a minimum of £10.50 per hour in the London area and £9.50 per hour in other parts of the UK for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal roles.

Amazon has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of a rapid shift towards online shopping since Covid-19 struck.

The company’s sales soared 42 per cent in the second quarter of this year, pushing the company's valuation to $1.7 trillion and making chief executive Jeff Bezos the first person to amass a personal fortune of more than $200bn.

Meanwhile, traditional retailers including WHSmith, John Lewis and Debenhams have cut thousands of of jobs as high streets and shopping centres remain quiet.

Business secretary, Alok Sharma said: “While this has been a challenging time for many businesses, it is hugely encouraging to see Amazon creating 10,000 jobs in the UK this year.

“This is not only great news for those looking for a new job, but also a clear vote of confidence in the UK economy as we build back better from the pandemic. The government remains deeply committed to supporting retailers of all sizes and we continue to work closely with the industry as we embark on the road to economic recovery.”

Amazon's new jobs will be at a number of sites across the country, including 1,000 roles at each of three fulfilment centres in Darlington, Durham and Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.

Many of the new jobs will involve picking, packing and shipping customer orders, while there are are also positions for engineers, graduates, HR and IT professionals, health and safety and finance specialists, Amazon said.

The company has faced allegations of poor working conditions at its warehouses in the past, with reports that staff feel overworked.

In an announcement on Thursday, Amazon highlighted that workers would receive benefits including medical insurance, subsidised meals, employee discount and company pension plan.

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