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Amazon embarks on massive Edinburgh recruitment drive

The company is looking to hire 35 software engineers, managers and scientists as it expands its Scottish research and development facility

Amazon’s Edinburgh-based development centre is launching the biggest recruitment drive in its 11-year history, aiming to increase its staff numbers by one-third in the coming months.

This expansion is part of the internet giant’s wider plans to create a further 2,500 permanent posts in the United Kingdom. The new recruits will join the 100 members of staff already based at the Edinburgh unit, which one of three Amazon centres in the UK.

The staff currently work on developing many of the features and services the internet retailer uses across the world, including its various websites, mobile apps and its increasingly popular cloud storage system. They are also responsible for many of Amazon’s innovative device features and for managing its Prime video service.

Last year Amazon made record profits from its growing internet and retail services, racking up global sales of more than £75.6bn. The retailer already has a large British arm and is looking to increase its UK workforce to 14,500 by the end of 2016. In Scotland alone, Amazon already employs 2,000 staff in its R&D and customer service facilities in Edinburgh and in its distribution hubs in Dunfermline and Gourock.

Describing the tech posts as ‘like Silicon Valley jobs’, the Edinburgh unit’s manager, Graeme Smith, welcomed Amazon’s job creation strategy in Scotland. He said concerns about skills shortages in the sector were unfounded, explaining that recruiting in Edinburgh was easier than in other global hubs such as London and San Francisco.

Edinburgh’s tech community has grown rapidly over the course of a decade, with major firms such as Microsoft and Rockstar Games choosing to locate their offices there. Overall more than 17,000 people are employed in Edinburgh’s technology sector and its universities turn out 1,200 graduates a year with computer-related qualifications.

Praising its vibrant tech community and Amazon’s thriving partnership with the University of Edinburgh, Mr Smith said the Scottish capital is in a strong position.

The announcement of the new Edinburgh posts is the latest good news for UK employment figures from Amazon. The company also recently announced that it is on course to open its new headquarters in London’s Shoreditch area in 2017, which will further boost its presence in the United Kingdom and lead to further job creation.

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