Amazon is set to open a new fulfilment centre in the Midlands, UK, creating 400 jobs including positions for HR and IT specialists as well as engineers.
The announcement came just as a report by the Centre for Cities revealed the North and the Midlands were most at risk of losing jobs to automation and globalisation.
It called for national and local leaders to act now to prepare people and places for the changes ahead.
Amazon’s director of UK customer fulfilment, Stefano Perego, said: “We are delighted to expand our operations in the Midlands where we already have a dedicated workforce of more than 2,500 people at fulfilment centres in Rugeley, Coalville and Daventry.
He added: “We are thrilled to begin recruitment for 400 new permanent roles in Rugby with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.”
Rugby will be the fourth Amazon fulfilment centre in Midlands and joins centres in Coalville and Daventry which opened in 2016 and Rugeley which opened in 2011.
In addition, the first dedicated UK receive centre will open in Coventry in 2018 and act as a central hub to receive and sort millions of products sold on Amazon.co.uk each year. Recruitment for Coventry has already begun and will create 1,650 permanent jobs.
The new fulfilment centre in Rugby adds to Amazon’s £6.4 billion investment in the UK since 2010, directed to its research and development, head office, fulfilment and logistics infrastructure.
Amazon, which currently operates a network of 16 UK fulfilment centres, has attracted criticism in the past with allegations of tough working conditions, including exhausting performance targets for those arranging items for delivery.
Amazon has rejected any suggestion of poor practice.
Amazon said of its pay package: “The pay rate for permanent Amazon employees increases over their first two years of employment, when all employees earn £8.35 an hour and above.
“All permanent Amazon fulfilment centre employees are given stock grants, which over the last five years were on average equal to £1,000 or more per year per person.
“Employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package, including private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection, subsidised meals and an employee discount, which combined are worth more than £700 annually, as well as a company pension plan.”
Amazon has also announced plans to open three further new fulfilment centres in 2018 in Bristol, Bolton and Coventry.