AMAZON is offering £1,000 ‘golden hellos’ to new warehouse workers as it battles to overcome the combined pressures of the UK’s recruitment crisis and the boom in online shopping.
Alongside the joining bonuses, the world’s fourth most valuable company is offering full-time and contract workers immediate starts, flexible hours and pay of up to £11.10-an-hour for daytime shifts, doubling to £22.20-an-hour for overtime.
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New hires who sign up between now and September 18 are eligible for the cash with interviews being held virtually and no prior experience required.
Full-time and temp contracts are being advertised on the Indeed website for roles in locations in and around London including Croydon, Erith, Enfield, Hemel Hempstead and Luton.
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 have also posted ads saying pickers and packers - capable of lifting parcels of up to 50lbs in weight - are “urgently needed”.
Applicants for the tech giant’s ‘fulfillment centre’ in Dartford are offered free shuttle buses from the local train station.
The ads read: “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 setting before, all the better - but most importantly, you’ll bring a true commitment to customer service and a keen desire to help to deliver a first-class Amazon experience.”
Latest figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation suggest that there were 1.65million vacant positions in the UK, with near-record numbers of ads being posted.
Skills shortages as a result of Brexit have been compounded by the ‘pingdemic’ forcing workers to self-isolate, leading to salary hikes of between 20% and 30% becoming ‘commonplace’ for City roles in tech and law.
It comes as McDonald’s says it has pulled milkshakes and bottled drinks from the menu in all 1,250 of its UK restaurants because of supply problems stemming from a shortage of truck drivers.
Along with hospitality, the logistics industry has been hardest hit by the crisis, with the Road Haulage Association saying pandemic restrictions delayed many new recruits taking their driving tests leading to a shortage of some 100,000 drivers, from a pre-pandemic total of 600,000.
The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) has warned festive favourites like pigs in blankets could be in short supply this Christmas.
Tesco and Asda are also offering HGV drivers a £1,000 bonus to sign up, while health care management firm HC-One offered £10,000 to all newly recruited registered night nurses.
Amazon has been contacted for comment.
Watch: Number of payrolled employees still 553k down on pre-pandemic level