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Amazon steps up hiring spree with push for 7,000 new staff in UK | Business

Amazon is taking on 7,000 permanent staff in the UK and recruiting 20,000 seasonal workers as it gears up for a busy festive season online.

The new recruits, including engineers, IT specialists, warehouse workers and health and safety experts, will work across more than 50 sites, including Amazon’s corporate offices and two new delivery warehouses which will open in the autumn at Durham and Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.

Temporary workers will also help operate three pop-up parcel packing centres which will open for the busy Christmas period when online retail is expected to gain an even bigger slice of the market as shoppers continue to shy away from the high street.

The online retailer and IT services provider said the new jobs came on top of 3,000 new permanent UK-based roles already created this year at its warehouses and depots.

Stefano Perego, Amazon’s vice-president of European customer fulfilment, said: “Our people have played a critical role in serving customers in these unprecedented times and the new roles will help us continue to meet customer demand and support small and medium sized businesses selling on Amazon.”

Amazon’s hiring spree comes after Tesco said it would permanently employ 16,000 extra staff taken on during the pandemic to help support a surge in online grocery trade. Electrical goods specialist AO.com, the DIY chain Kingfisher and the delivery firms DPD and Hermes have also together hired thousands more workers to cope with the rise in home deliveries.

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However, high street jobs have been slashed as shoppers switch to buying online. Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Boots are among the chains closing stores and cutting jobs.

The 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.”

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