1. News
February 20, 2017

Amazon is expanding its UK workforce to boost drone and voice recognition development

Amazon has pledged to expand its UK workforce by creating 5,000 full time roles before the end of 2017, brushing off any Brexit worries.

The company’s UK employees will total over 24,000 before the end of the year and it is “hiring for all types of roles” to facilitate the business’s expansion.

Notably, Amazon wants to hire more engineers and software developers to grow its Prime Air division, which makes deliveries via drones, and to improve its voice recognition software which powers its artificial intelligence-assistant Amazon Alexa.

The new roles will include jobs at the company’s new head office, which is due to open in Shoreditch, London, later in 2016 and in its development centres in Edinburgh, Cambridge and the capital.

Doug Gurr, UK country manager for Amazon, said:

“We are creating thousands of new UK jobs including hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities as we continue to innovate for our customers and provide them with even faster delivery, more selection and better value.”

The Seattle-based company made its first drone delivery to a customer in the UK in December, delivering a Fire TV streaming device and a bag of popcorn. The delivery arrived 13 minutes after the order was received online. Amazon is allegedly testing out its drone delivery service in the UK as regulations in the US are too strict.

As well as this, it wants to open three new fulfilment centres in Tilbury, Doncaster and Daventry, bringing Amazon’s investment in the UK economy to over $5.7bn since 2010.

Amazon isn’t the only tech company eyeing up UK expansion. Online travel booking company Expedia has announced plans to double the size of its UK office in London, which will see it employing new staff in the future. It also signed a new lease on its current space until 2030.

Johan Svanstrom, president of Expedia-owned Hotels.com, said:

“We see a lot of opportunity in London given the continued growth of e-commerce and technology industries and the strong pool of talent in the city.”

The US-based company celebrated its 20th-anniversary last year and is said to be worth around $16.2bn.

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