Hundreds of seasonal workers at a leading Peterborough company were given a late Christmas gift when their jobs were made permanent.
Four hundred staff at online retailing giant Amazon have just been told their “only-Christmas” jobs are now all year round.
The announcement takes the workforce at the fulfilment centre at Kingston Park, Fletton, to more than 1,200.
It makes the retailer one of the city’s elite companies - employing more than 1,000 staff.
John Tagawa, Amazon’s vice-president of UK operations, said: “We’re delighted so many people who helped deliver a first rate level of service for our customers at Christmas will join the Amazon team at Peterborough on a permanent basis with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits from day one.
“We are delighted to be part of this great community, continue to grow our workforce and invest in our Peterborough operation.”
It is absolutely fantastic news for the workers and the city.Cllr John Holditch, council leader
Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holditch said: “It is absolutely fantastic news for the workers and the city.
“It takes Amazon’s workforce to more than 1,000 and makes the company one of the city’s ‘golden’ employers.
“It sends out a message to other companies that Peterborough is a good place to do business.”
North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said: “I am delighted. This is excellent news for the individuals concerned and is a significant boost for the local economy.
“Amazon has been committed to Peterborough for some time now and it is good news that they are able to provide even more secure jobs.”
John Bridge, chief executive of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is really good news for the city as well as the people involved, giving them more security.
“Seasonal jobs are always welcome at the appropriate time. This rewards those who took the seasonal roles.”
Last December, on Black Friday, the centre enjoyed what its then general manager Marcelo Affonso said was a record success.
The new roles form part of Amazon’s plans to create 2,500 permanent jobs in the UK this year, bringing the company’s total workforce to 14,500 by the end of 2016.
Amazon’s fulfilment centres offer a range of positions from operations managers to engineers, HR and IT roles to associates who handle orders.
It is also planning to hire up and down the country at its head office, research and development centres, customer service centres, fashion photography studio and new Amazon Web Services (AWS) UK data centres, which are currently being built in the UK.
Amazon has invested more than £4.6 billion in the UK economy to build and run its UK business since 2010.
In addition to competitive wages, all permanent 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. Fulfilment centre employees also receive a private medical insurance, a company pension plan, life assurance, income protection, subsidised meals and an employee discount.
Amazon also runs a programme called Career Choice that provides fulfilment centre employees funding for adult education, offering to pre-pay 95 per cent of tuition and associated fees for nationally recognised courses, up to £8,000 over four years.