AMAZON says it will create more than 10,000 permanent jobs in the UK this year, taking its total British workforce to more than 55,000.

The online giant also said it would invest £10millioin over three years to train 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, under which the company pays course fees for its employees who have expressed an interest in pursuing a career outside of the company.

The Career Choice pays 95 per cent of tuition and associated fees for nationally recognised courses, up to £8,000 over four years. Courses range from accountancy to HGV drivers and software developing.

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Accredited Chambers of Commerce will have the opportunity to work with Amazon to identify regional skills shortages.

The 10,000 new permanent jobs Amazon will create in the UK this year will include roles at its corporate offices, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and operations network.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Amazon’s announcement today is fantastic news and a huge vote of confidence in the British economy, helping us deliver on our commitment to level up across the UK with a whopping 10,000 new permanent jobs. 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: “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.”

Corporate roles will be available in offices in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Cambridge across fields including fashion, digital marketing, engineering, video production, software development, cloud computing, AI and machine learning and more.

In operations, Amazon will open a parcel receiving centre and four new fulfilment centres, as well as continuing 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 will open a new fulfilment centre in Hinckley, East Midlands, this summer creating 700 new permanent jobs. The company will also open a parcel receiving 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.