Amazon has confirmed its commitment to maintain a diverse workforce even after Brexit as the online retail giant opened its new UK head office and announced plans to create 450 new research and development jobs.
The internet behemoth is set to move in to all 15 storeys and 600,000sq ft of the Principal Place building in Shoreditch, east London, so it can double the capacity of its research and development centre from 450 to 900 staff.
The roles include software development engineers, user-interface experts, data analysts and graphic designers who will work on building new technologies for Amazon’s Prime Video service.
Principal Place will also house other corporate roles from across the company, and it is part of Amazon’s investment in the UK, whereby the company has pumped more than £6.4 billion in building and running its operations here since 2010.
Amazon has so far pledged to create around 5000 new permanent roles across the country, bringing its total workforce to 24,000 across its head office, three development centres as well as its fulfilment and customer service centres.
Of that total workforce, 5000 roles will be based in London across three offices in Shoreditch, Holborn and Barbican.
“London is one of the world’s truly great cities and home to some of the most talented, creative people on the planet, and we are delighted to provide our teams of innovators with a new, purpose-built workplace,” Amazon UK country manager Doug Gurr said.
“While we open a new development centre to house today’s innovators, we also want to help foster the next generation of inventors by funding a million healthy breakfasts to give schoolchildren the fuel to learn, and expand our bursary programme to help more women get university educations for high tech roles.”
Gurr later added that his company employs a large number of EU citizens, and he was happy to see their status is being prioritised in Brexit talks.
“In common with any large organisation here, we have a large number of EU citizens, and we love that, we’ve always celebrated diversity in the workforce,” he said.
“We benefit hugely from a diverse workforce, we’re very optimistic and hopeful that will continue to be the case going forward.”