AMAZON says it is creating more than 70 permanent jobs in Southampton this year – as well as 200 seasonal jobs for the Christmas rush.

The digital giant has revealed it is on course to have created 10,000 permanent jobs UK-wide in 2020, taking its workforce to 40,000.

In Southampton, it will have increased permanent headcount from 40 to more than 50 at one of its two delivery stations – and from more than 20 to more than 80 at the other.

It will be recruiting for around 200 seasonal positions to support its festive operations.

New jobs are being created for engineers, graduates, HR and IT professionals, health and safety and finance specialists, as well as the teams who will pick, pack and ship orders, Amazon says. It says the growth will help small and medium sized businesses to scale their businesses as they sell via Amazon, as well meeting growing demand for Amazon’s own services.

Business secretary Alok Sharma said: “While this has been a challenging time for many businesses, it is hugely encouraging to see Amazon creating 10,000 jobs in the UK this year.

“This is not only great news for those looking for a new job, but also a clear vote of confidence in the UK economy as we build back better from the pandemic. The government remains deeply committed to supporting retailers of all sizes and we continue to work closely with the industry as we embark on the road to economic recovery.”

Stefano Perego, Amazon’s vice-president of European customer fulfilment, said: “We’re proud to be creating 10,000 new permanent roles across our UK network of fulfilment centres, sort centres and delivery stations offering competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one. Our people have played a critical role in serving customers in these unprecedented times and the new roles will help us continue to meet customer demand and support small and medium sized businesses selling on Amazon.

“The new state-of-the-art robotics fulfilment centres in the North East and the Midlands, as well as the thousands of additional roles at sites across the country, underline our commitment to the people and communities in which we operate. We are employing thousands of talented individuals in a diverse range of good jobs from operations managers and tech professionals through to people to handle customer orders.

“We prepare year-round for the festive season and we’re also excited to have over 20,000 seasonal positions available this year to help delight our customers. We look forward to welcoming back seasonal workers who return year-after-year to work at Amazon and welcome new faces to the seasonal team.”