Amazon is doubling the number of research and development (R&D) specialists it is looking to recruit in London, saying it is “very optimistic” Brexit will not hamper access to talent.
The company said it was now aiming to hire 900 R&D workers for its UK headquarters in Shoreditch, including software development engineers, user-interface experts, data analysts and graphic designers.
Amazon said its hiring plans had grown because it had now been able to take all 15 floors of the building, leaving it on track to employ a total of 5,000 in corporate and R&D roles in the capital by the end of the year.
The new staff will mainly focus on new technologies for its Prime video service.
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Doug Gurr, the company’s UK manager, said: “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.
“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.”
The announcement was seen as a boost for the UK amid fears the country will be starved of access to talent from the continent after Brexit – with employers highlighting worries about a skills shortage.
Mr Gurr added: “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.
“We benefit hugely from a diverse workforce, we’re very optimistic and hopeful that will continue to be the case going forward.”
Minister for digital Matt Hancock said: “This is great news for Britain. Amazon’s increased investment in developing cutting-edge technology in London is another vote of confidence in the UK as a world-leading centre of creativity and innovation.”