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Amazon to hire 1,000 apprentices as part of tech push

Amazon has unveiled plans to hire more than 1,000 apprentices in the UK over the next two years as part of a drive to bolster its expertise in advanced technologies.

The new recruits will be hired into one of nine programmes, covering software engineering, robotics, IT and leadership, among other divisions of the retail giant’s business.

Around 200 of the roles will be open exclusively to existing Amazon employees, including those working in the company’s warehouses. A further 90 bachelors and masters degree-level apprenticeships will also be available. Apprentices will earn between £9.50 an hour and £30,000 a year.

“We want to give people opportunities to succeed in the digital age, regardless of their background,” said Amazon’s UK chief Doug Gurr. “Our fully-funded apprenticeship programme, from entry level through to degree level, will provide an exciting path to becoming Amazon’s future team leaders, engineers and innovation drivers.”

After qualifying from the apprenticeships, which vary in length from 13 months to four years, employees will work in either Amazon’s UK head office or one of its three development centres in Edinburgh, Cambridge and London. Much of the company’s development of its virtual assistant Alexa, machine learning, Prime Video and Prime Air is carried out in the UK and it’s expected that the apprentices will work across this range of services.

In October, Amazon vowed to create 1,000 new jobs for researchers, software developers and machine learning scientists across the UK. The majority of the new roles will be based in Manchester, where the online services giant is opening a 600-person office.

The team will be spread across six floors of the Hanover Building in the city’s Northern Quarter, and will work on a range of software development, machine learning and R&D projects.

Amazon is also expanding its development centres in Edinburgh, where an additional 250 tech jobs will be created, and Cambridge, where a further 180 will join the company. Its corporate headcount was expected to rise to 6,500 by the end of last year and grow further in 2019.