Amazon offers new employees £1,000 signing bonus to combat UK staffing crisis

AMAZON is offering new warehouse workers a £1,000 welcome bonus as it struggles to overcome the combined pressures of the UK’s recruitment crisis and the boom in online shopping.

In addition to the signing bonuses, the world’s fourth most valuable company offers full-time and contract workers immediate start dates, flexible working hours and pay of up to £11.10 per hour for day shifts and up to £22.20 per hour for overtime.

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New hires who sign up between now and September 18 are eligible for the money. Interviews will be conducted virtually and no previous experience is necessary.

The Indeed website advertises full-time and temporary contracts for positions in and around London, including Croydon, Erith, Enfield, Hemel Hempstead and Luton.

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Ads have also been placed at the company’s warehouses across the country, from Redruth in Cornwall to Hull in the north-east – including Exeter, Bristol, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Southampton and Liverpool – saying that order pickers and packers – who can lift parcels weighing up to 50 pounds – are “urgently wanted”.

Applicants for the tech giant’s fulfilment centre in Dartford are offered free shuttle buses from the local train station.

The ads state: “Successful candidates will have a strong work ethic, attention to detail and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.”

“If you’ve worked in a similar environment before, all the better – but most importantly, you’ll have a genuine commitment to customer service and a strong desire to contribute to a world-class Amazon experience.”

Latest figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation estimate that there are 1.65 million vacancies in the UK and a record number of job advertisements have been published.

Bottlenecks in the supply chain are already threatening Christmas deliveries (PA)Bottlenecks in the supply chain are already threatening Christmas deliveries (PA)

Bottlenecks in the supply chain are already threatening Christmas deliveries (PA)

The skills shortage resulting from Brexit was exacerbated by the ‘pingdemic’ which forced workers into self-isolation, resulting in pay rises of between 20 and 30 per cent becoming ‘commonplace’ for technology and legal jobs in the City.

McDonald’s has removed milkshakes and bottled drinks from all 1,250 restaurants in the UK due to delivery issues caused by a shortage of truck drivers.

Alongside the hospitality industry, the logistics sector has been hit hardest by the crisis. According to the Road Haulage Association, pandemic restrictions meant that many new employees experienced delays in taking their driving tests, leading to a shortage of around 100,000 drivers (up from 600,000 before the pandemic).

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has warned that popular festive dishes such as sausage rolls could be in short supply this Christmas.

Tesco and Asda are also offering lorry drivers a £1,000 bonus on recruitment, while healthcare management company HC-One is offering all newly hired night nurses £10,000.

Amazon was asked for comment.

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