Brexit fails to deter Amazon as it announces plans to expands UK workforce by 5,000

Staff in seasonal positions will be encouraged into permanent ones, taking total UK workforce to more than 24,000

Josie Cox
Business Editor
Sunday 19 February 2017 14:04 GMT
Amazon announce expansion in UK

Amazon is expanding its UK workforce by 5,000 – a significant vote of confidence in Britain’s status as a business hub in the turbulent lead-up to Brexit.

The retail giant has announced it is filling roles across a slew of departments, hiring software developers, engineers and technicians, as well as more junior positions.

Staff in seasonal roles will be encouraged to take permanent ones, taking its total UK workforce to more than 24,000.

Amazon will also be launching an apprenticeship programme “offering hundreds of people opportunities in engineering, logistics and warehousing roles in fulfilment centres across the UK”.

The move indicates that for many major multinationals, the UK remains an attractive place to do business, despite the fact that elements of the country’s future relationship with the EU remain highly opaque.

Theresa May has said Britain will not try to “cherry-pick” which parts of the EU it maintains access to after Brexit.

The Prime Minister defended her decision to withdraw the UK from the single market and negotiate a trade deal with the EU, saying this did not amount to an unfair attempt to retain a choice of membership privileges.

Think tanks and business groups have warned Brexit could lead to a talent drain on certain industries, exacerbating the skills gap in the UK.

Last month, the London Stock Exchange warned that Brexit poses a risk to the global financial system and could cost the City up to 230,000 jobs.

But this hasn’t deterred all.

In November last year Facebook announced plans to hire 500 extra workers in the UK when it opens a new office in London, increasing its workforce by half. Google confirmed that it would build a new headquarters in London and create 3,000 jobs. IBM and Asos have made similar commitments.

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