Empowering the Freelance Economy

Amazon job creation linked to SMEs and self-employed scaling up; Boumphrey new UK Country Manager

Jeff Bezos - probably the most successful solopreneur turned entrepreneur- billionaire. Amazon does not reveal how much profit it makes in the UK, although it said according to an Evening Standard report that: “Operating profits remain relatively low.” This year’s Amazon corporation tax payment was reduced due to increased capital spending and research and development expenditure, Amazon added.
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Amazon is on a hiring spree thanks to the growing customer demand of UK small and medium-sized enterprises, solopreneurs and sole traders scaling their businesses through the company’s online platform. Its newly appointed UK manager will be joining just before the festive season rush. Will he and the thousands of new recruits be up to the task?

Amazon said it is helping to digitally empower more than 373,000 small businesses and content creators in the UK. As a result, the online retailer and entertainment streaming business has already created 3,000 new permanent roles earlier this year across Amazon’s UK network of fulfilment centres, sort centres and delivery stations, with a further 7,000 to follow by the end of the year.

John Boumphrey, Amazon’s new UK Country Manager, will be integral to the UK’s continuing growth and will likely be preparing operations in his first days in anticipation of the second wave of COVID to hit the UK. Boumphrey will start the role in mid-November, taking over from current Country Manager Doug Gurr, who is leaving Amazon after nine years to become the Director of the Natural History Museum.

Boumphrey first joined Amazon nine years ago as Director of Media in the UK and is currently the Vice President of Amazon Fashion Europe.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead Amazon’s UK business, helping us to serve our UK customers and communities, as well as supporting our employees and thousands of businesses the length and breadth of the country. It’s hard to imagine that there were around 2,500 UK employees when I started almost 10 years ago, and since then I’ve seen a UK workforce that will this year grow to more than 40,000.”

John Boumphrey, Amazon’s new UK Country Manager, will be integral to the UK’s continuing growth and will likely be preparing operations in his first days in anticipation of the second wave of COVID to hit the UK.

Before joining Amazon, he was a Trading Director at Homebase, and earlier in his career, he worked as a consultant at Bain & Company. The new country manager holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Master’s degree in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford.

The latest recruitment drive will bring Amazon’s total permanent UK workforce to more than 40,000. This does not include the additional 20,000 seasonal positions that will be opening up ahead of the festive period across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and at three pop-up fulfilment centres.

The new permanent roles are varied and include opportunities for engineers, graduates, HR and IT professionals, health and safety and finance specialists in addition to staff that will pick, pack and ship customer orders. The roles are located at more than 50 sites, including Corporate offices and two new fulfilment centres launching in the autumn in the North East and in the Midlands.

Amazon has recruited more than 700 apprentices during 2020, in fields ranging from automation engineering and IT to digital marketing and fashion buyers, with pay of up to £30,000 a year for degree-level apprenticeships.  

“A typical apprenticeship combines theoretical learning with hands-on training, enabling participants to obtain qualifications and degrees and earn money in the process,” said Amazon.

Which Amazon centres are job hot spots?

Amazon has already offered temporary roles to thousands of people whose job was impacted at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, many of whom will now be able to transition into a permanent role with the potential for a career within Amazon, the retailer said in a statement.

At the centre of the job creation programme are three new, fulfilment centres in Darlington, Durham and Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, each fitted out with Amazon Robotics technology and each creating more than 1,000 new permanent roles. Construction of these new fulfilment centres began last year. Darlington started operations in May and the sites in Durham and Sutton-in-Ashfield will launch later this autumn.

How much is the pay?

Pay starts at a minimum of £10.50 p/h in the London area and £9.50 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, subsidised meals and an employee discount – which combined are worth more than £700 annually – as well as a company pension plan, according to the online retail distribution company. 

Amazon also offers employees a programme called Career Choice that provides funding for skills development through nationally recognised courses of up to £8,000 over four years.

People interested in applying for both permanent and seasonal roles at Amazon should visit www.amazonjobs.co.uk

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