Amazon promises Irish jobs boost

Ireland could be in line for a significant jobs boost after the world’s largest online retailer announced plans to create several thousand jobs across Europe this year.

Amazon, which employs 40,000 people across its European operation, said it is looking to follow up on its 2015 recruitment drive by adding thousands of extra roles again this year.

The retail giant was unable to outline how many additional staff its Irish business would be taking on but a spokesperson confirmed to the Irish Examiner that Ireland is part of its expansion plans as outlined by the company’s EU retail vice president.

“We are seeing stronger demand than ever from our customers all across Europe, and we see lots more opportunity across Amazon’s businesses to invent and invest for the future.

“We created over 10,000 new jobs in 2015 and plan to create several thousand more in 2016 at all education, experience and skill levels, from speech and linguistic scientists to digital media experts to fulfilment centre and customer service associates,” said Xavier Garambois.

Amazon is hiring extra computer scientists and software development engineers across its network of 12 European research and development centres, one of which is in Dublin.

In addition to its Dublin operations, the online retailer also employs 800 staff in customer-support roles at its base in Cork.

Late last year the company announced plans to invest tens of millions of euro in building a data centre in Dublin to add to the two existing data centres it owns at the Blanchardstown Business and Technology Park.

Amazon employs more than 1,400 employees here.

It has ramped up its European presence in the last 12 months or so in the face of increased scrutiny of its tax affairs.

The company’s tax arrangements in Luxembourg are the focus of a European Commission investigation, much like Apple’s affairs in Ireland.

Increasing its European footprint offers another robust line of defence to US multinationals in light of such intense scrutiny of their European operations.

Having added 10,000 permanent roles in Europe in 2015, Amazon said it has invested €15bn across the continent since 2010.

Among the jobs added last year are those in customer service centres, R&D and its cavernous warehouses, known as fulfilment centres, from which its huge range of products are supplied.

The pay and conditions of workers employed in Amazon’s fulfilment centres has previously been criticised as “brutal” — a claim that Amazon boss Jeff Bezos rubbished last year.


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