Amazon is partnering with the British Chambers of Commerce and local businesses to identify regional skills shortages to focus training on local needs

Amazon today announced that it will create more than 10,000 new permanent jobs in 2021, taking its total UK workforce to more than 55,000 people by the end of the year. Amazon also announced that it will invest £10 million over three years to train to up to 5,000 employees in new skills and support the Government’s investment programme. This training will be offered through Amazon’s Career Choice programme, where the company pays course fees for its employees who have expressed an interest in pursuing a career outside of the company – something that will boost the skills and employability of British workers.

Amazon employees have great opportunities to progress their careers at the company, whether that be through improving existing skills or promotion into a managerial role. For those who see their future outside of Amazon, the Career Choice programme provides funding for adult education, offering to pre-pay 95% of tuition and associated fees for nationally recognised courses, up to £8,000 over four years. Courses available range from accountancy to HGV drivers and software developers, and are designed to help employees pursue careers outside of Amazon if they choose to do that.

Accredited Chambers of Commerce will have the opportunity to work with Amazon to identify regional skills shortages ensuring training is focused on local needs. The company will provide classroom-based learning through Amazon Career Choice, as well as exploring opportunities with the Accredited Chamber of Commerce network to provide practical work experience and mentoring in employees’ chosen future professions.

The 10,000 new permanent jobs Amazon will create in the UK this year will include roles in both its corporate offices and operations network. Corporate roles will be available in offices in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Cambridge across a wide range of fields including fashion, digital marketing, engineering, video production, AI and machine learning, and more. In operations, Amazon will open a parcel receive centre and four new fulfilment centres, as well as continue to expand its delivery station network, creating thousands of new permanent roles on teams including engineering, HR and IT, health and safety, finance, and those that pick, pack and ship customer orders.

Amazon provides some of the most advanced workplaces of their kind in the world, with competitive pay, processes, and systems to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all employees. Pay for Operations roles starts at a minimum of £10.80 p/h in the London area and £9.70 p/h in other parts of the UK for all full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal roles in Amazon’s fulfilment centres, sort centres, and delivery stations. Employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package, including private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection, and an employee discount – which combined are worth more than £700 annually – as well as a company pension plan.

Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC, said: “This is a great initiative that will not only help Amazon but also provide a much wider benefit to the community, while showcasing how business can be a force for good. Providing staff with training to plug the skills gaps that exist within the local business community is going to be a key driver to increasing productivity and boosting the economy as the UK recovers from the pandemic.”

Amazon’s UK Country Manager John Boumphrey said: “We have always wanted to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, and we have also committed to be Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. We’re creating thousands of good jobs across the UK from a diverse range of roles with excellent pay and benefits. We’re also delighted to be working with the British Chambers of Commerce on a pioneering approach to our Career Choice programme to provide the training, and skilled workers, needed to boost local economies right across the country.”

He added: “We’re proud of the front-line roles we offer across Amazon, and we also know that they will be a stepping stone for some in their career journey. For people whose ambitions fall outside of our company, we are pleased to support them by paying for training and academic courses that can get them to where they want to be.”

Amazon will open a new fulfilment centre in Hinckley, East Midlands, this summer creating 700 new permanent jobs. The company will also open a parcel receive centre in Doncaster and new fulfilment centres in Dartford, Gateshead, and Swindon that will each create more than 1,300 permanent jobs later this year.

This announcement adds to the 1,000 full-time apprenticeships Amazon will create in the UK in 2021. Announced in February, the apprenticeships cover 25 different programmes ranging from IT, safety technician and HR through to software engineering and creative digital design. Roles include 100 degree-level apprenticeships and more than 500 apprenticeships for Amazon employees, providing an opportunity to retrain and gain new skills.

To date, Amazon has created more than 40,000 jobs and invested over £23 billion in its UK operations since 2010 to provide convenience, selection and value to UK consumers, while supporting more than 373,000 businesses and creative professionals including sellers, AWS developers and authors.

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