Amazon opens door to 900 new jobs at Waverley Gate

ONLINE retailer Amazon is to create 900 jobs in Edinburgh.

First Minister Alex Salmond announced the company will set up a new customer service centre at Waverley Gate, the former Post Office building in Waterloo Place, with a 1.8 million grant from Scottish Enterprise which will help train new staff and fit out the new premises. The new centre will create 500 permanent and 400 temporary jobs.

Amazon said its decision to invest in Scotland was influenced by the availability of a high-quality workforce in Edinburgh and the financial and account management support available from Scottish Enterprise.

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The news follows Amazon's announcement in January that it was to build a new "fulfilment centre" at Dunfermline.

The centre at Waverley Gate, which is due to open in August, will handle both internet and telephone customer queries for, including technical support for Amazon Kindle and MP3 services.

Mr Salmond said: "Amazon has a substantial presence in Scotland and this announcement is testament to the quality, strength and skills of its Scottish workforce.

"This news provides a significant boost to the local economy, creates 900 jobs in the heart of Edinburgh, and demonstrates the company's commitment to working in Scotland."

Established in 1998, Amazon offers a wide variety of products over the internet, including books, movies, music, PC and video games and electronics. The new facility represents a significant expansion of the company's current Scottish operation, which includes bases in South Queensferry, Glenrothes and Gourock.

Allan Lyall, vice-president of European operations and customer service at Amazon, said: "As our business continues to grow and we move into new areas like grocery, sports and clothing, our customer services support needs to expand as well.

"Edinburgh is an outstanding location, providing us with access to a highly-skilled workforce who will help us to achieve the high standards of customer service that shoppers at expect.

"Scotland has been home to a number of Amazon fulfilment centres for many years and we are delighted to be expanding our operations within the country."

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Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson said Amazon's investment sent a message to the rest of the world that Scotland is a world-class business destination.

"Scottish Enterprise has worked closely with the company, both through our team here in Scotland and internationally to identify how we can support its business most effectively.

"We are pleased to be able to support the company with training assistance which will help the company to develop the skills of its 900 new Scottish employees and guarantee that today's announcement has a long-lasting impact on the economy and the competitiveness of our workforce."