Leicester Mercury

Retail giant set to create hundreds of jobs in county town


- By NICK DAWSON nicholas.dawson@reachplc.com

INTERNET giant Amazon is to open a new “fulfilment centre” in Hinckley this summer, creating 700 jobs.

The global logistics firm is to launch a hub in the town as part of a national project to create 10,000 jobs across the country, increasing its UK workforce to 55,000 by the end of the year.

Three more so-called fulfilment centres will open as part of the expansion, in Dartford, Gateshead and Swindon, each creating more than 1,300 jobs, along with a parcel centre in Doncaster.

New permanent roles will be created in engineerin­g, human resources, computing, health and safety, finance, and those dealing with customer orders.

Amazon is also launching a £10 million programme, lasting three years, to help up to 5,000 employees gain new skills.

New jobs will also be on offer in corporate offices, web services and operations networks, in areas including London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cambridge.

John Boumphrey, Amazon’s UK country manager, said: “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.

“We’re proud of the frontline roles we offer across Amazon, and we also know that they will be a stepping stone for some in their career journey.”

A fulfilment centre is an Amazon warehouse which not only stores products but also serves as a distributi­on centre, where orders are picked, packed and shipped quickly.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng welcomed the announceme­nt, saying it was a huge vote of confidence in the British economy.

He said: “As we build back better from the pandemic, this is a prime investment in our retail sector.

“Over the past year, Amazon’s workforce have pulled out all the stops to ensure consumers have had safe access to goods during this challengin­g time.

“Their latest investment will open up a wide range of opportunit­ies for even more workers, helping to develop the skills needed to power tomorrow’s economy.”

Shevaun Haviland, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said the national project will provide many benefits for the wider community.

She said: “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.”

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