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Amazon to hire thousands as its business booms

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Amazon is on a recruitment drive to add 55 000 staff members globally for corporate jobs and roles in engineering, research and robotics.

The American multinational conglomerate, which focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing and digital streaming services, says it is hiring 40 000 staff across 220-plus locations in the US, and mostly in India, Germany and Japan, and the remainder will be in other parts of the globe.

In an interview, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy told news agency Reuters that the recruitment drive was influenced by the planned expansion of its retail, cloud computing and advertising arms, among others, with more staff required to support the business.

He noted the company's new initiative to launch a constellation of low earth orbit satellites, called Project Kuiper, would also require a lot of employees.

In a media statement detailing Amazon’s upcoming training and recruiting virtual event “Career Day”, it says the new job opportunities would represent a 20% increase in its tech and corporate staff, who are currently at an estimated 275 000 globally.

“We’re working hard every day to be the best place for people to have satisfying and fulfilling long-term careers,” notes Jassy.

“Amazon continues to grow quickly, and relentlessly invent across many areas, and we’re hoping that Career Day gives both job-seekers and current Amazon employees the support they need to learn new skills, or reimagine their careers at Amazon or elsewhere.”

Amazon is also on a recruitment drive in South Africa, with over 150 full-time vacancies in Johannesburg and Cape Town advertised on human resources platform LinkedIn.

This follows last year’s announcement that Amazon would hire 3 000 new customer service employees in SA to provide support to its North American and European customers.

The new job opportunities, across its web and customer service divisions, are expected to take the number of Amazon employees in SA to 7 000.

“The new jobs reflect our continued commitment to South Africa’s economic development, and I am proud to have South Africa be a growing part of our ability to deliver a great experience to Amazon customers around the world and provide employees with the opportunity to work safely from home,” said Andrew Raichlin, director of Amazon customer service in SA, at the time.

Amazon Web Services, which first established a presence in Cape Town in 2004 via a Development Centre, is also looking to expand its local operations by doubling its workforce and occupying bigger headquarters in a recently-approved mega development in the city.

The Observatory-based R4.5 billion River Club Development will be the new home of the international conglomerate.

On the global front, Amazon says it received more than 30 million job applications in 2020, almost double the number from 2019.

“In 2020 alone, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon hired over 400 000 employees in the US. Of the new employees hired across Amazon’s operations network, nearly 30 000 joined Amazon from the manufacturing sector, another 19 000 from traditional retail, and 16 500 from education and healthcare, among others,” according to Amazon.

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