A new Amazon warehouse that has recently opened in Swindon has caused ripples amongst the business community.
While the opening of the warehouse has meant that jobs in the area have been filled, local business owners have grown frustrated at competing with the ecommerce giant for staff over the busy festive period.
Amazon has hired 2,000 staff in a matter of months in Swindon, with the new site opening earlier than planned to exploit the online shopping boom before Christmas.
The company advertised roles as “a job for life, not just for Christmas,” a claim which small businesses in the area can struggle to compete with.
Alongside the promise of permanent work for Swindon’s residents, it also offers them a hiring bonus of up to £3,000 and a starting pay of £11.10 an hour, which is £2 more than the legal minimum, as it aims to shake its reputation as one of the country’s worst employers.
The new depot has created thousands of jobs while also sucking staff away from other businesses including care homes.
Swindon’s job market has recently suffered a major blow after a nearby Honda factory closed, causing the loss of 3,000 direct jobs and thousands more in the supply chain, many of which were high-paying and skilled roles.
“We’re competing with Amazon and the big warehouses, as well as hospitality, for the same people. It can be very frustrating,” Coate Water Care operations director Sue Houldey told The Guardian.
While the care home hasn’t directly lost any staff to Amazon, the opening of the warehouse has meant that competition for the slim pool of candidates is heating up.
With funding issues for social care and rising fixed costs making pay rises more difficult, a job at the Amazon depot is 25 per cent more lucrative.