Online retail giant Amazon is set to create “several thousand” jobs across Europe, including some 2,500 in the UK.
The expansion plans follow what the company described as a “record year for job creation”, with more than 10,000 permanent roles created in Europe during 2015, bringing its headcount across the continent to more than 40,000.
Amazon has a huge distribution centre in Dunfermline employing 700 people, along with bases in Edinburgh and Gourock. Its hiring plans will see its UK workforce expand to about 14,500.
Xavier Garambois, vice-president of Amazon EU Retail, said: “We are seeing stronger demand than ever from our customers all across Europe, and we see lots more opportunity across Amazon’s businesses to invent and invest for the future.
“We created over 10,000 new jobs in 2015 and plan to create several thousand more in 2016 at all education, experience and skill levels, from speech and linguistic scientists to digital media experts to fulfilment centre and customer service associates.”
Amazon said it has invested more than €15 billion (£11.4bn) since 2010 on its infrastructure and operations in Europe. However, the firm has come under fire over staff conditions at its centres, with reports claiming employees can walk up to 11 miles a shift and face punishing deadlines for retrieval of items.
Roy Perticucci, vice-president of Amazon EU Operations, said: “We are proud to offer great jobs for people who already have the skills we’re looking for and to help develop people who want to add new skills through our innovative programmes.
“We’re planning to add thousands of new jobs in all areas across our European fulfilment network in 2016 as we ramp up to meet increased demand from customers and invent in new areas.”
The group has also attracted anger over its tax affairs. Last May it emerged that the UK arm of the business paid just £11.9 million in tax in 2014, despite taking £5.3bn in sales from British shoppers.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Amazon’s continued investment in the UK is very welcome news and further demonstration that the UK is a great destination for innovative industries to invest and do business.
“These new permanent jobs will build on the UK’s record levels of employment and give added security to working people across the country – from app developers in Edinburgh to fashion photographers in London.”