The warehouse, which will be the third to open in the north-west, will be one of a new generation of Amazon facilities that will see staff work alongside robots. Stefano Perego, an Amazon director, said the warehouse would take the total number of new permanent jobs the company has created in the north-west of England to more than 3,500 since 2016.
Amazon, which will have 15 of the warehouses – called fulfilment centres – across the UK by the end of this year, employs a workforce of 24,000 across Britain.
Amazon has started recruiting for a range of roles at the fulfilment centre, including operations managers, engineers, human resources staff and IT specialists. Warehouse staff will be responsible for picking, packing and shipping items alongside Amazon’s robots, which slide under a tower of shelves where products are stowed, lift the product and move it through the fulfilment centre.
Perego said the Bolton staff would receive “competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one”. The warehouse will open next year. Fufilment centre staff will start on £7.65 an hour minimum, rising to at least £8.15 over their first two years of employment. The national living wage for over-25s is £7.50 an hour.
However, employment conditions at Amazon warehouses have been the subject of scrutiny in several countries, including the UK. Last year Amazon was accused of creating “intolerable working conditions” at its site in Dunfermline after allegations that workers had been penalised for taking sick days. At the time, Amazon said it offered “great jobs and a positive work environment with opportunities for growth”.
Last year, Amazon announced that it would open fulfilment centres in Daventry, Doncaster, Warrington and Tilbury in 2017, creating more than 3,500 permanent full-time jobs. The Daventry site opened in February, while Doncaster, Warrington and Tilbury began operating recently.
Amazon also has research and development sites in Edinburgh and Cambridge, which are working on voice recognition services, drones, and developing Amazon’s online and mobile shopping services. By the end of the year, the company will have 1,500 UK-based staff working on R&D.