Iain Crighton On The Amazon Christmas Hiring

17:48 Wednesday 3rd October 2012
Drive BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

CHRIS MANN: A thousand extra jobs are coming to Peterborough over the busy Christmas period. Online retailer Amazon has announced over one thousand seasonal employees are being recruited at the Peterborough Fulfillment Centre. Iain Crighton is Chairman of Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, and joins me now. Very welcome, isn’t it?
IAIN CRIGHTON: Yes, it’s the sort of stuff which puts a smile on your face. And I’m sure there’ll be a thousand people hopefully who’ll be smiling at the end as they go into Christmas. It must be nice to have a little bit of pocket money coming in. Christmas will seem that little bit better, won’t it?
CHRIS MANN: Why do you think these jobs have come in particular to this area?
IAIN CRIGHTON: Amazon is a very successful retailer, online retailer, and all the trends are indicating that online retailing is growing, and Amazon results are showing that’s the case. And they need the people to process the goods. So it’s a real bonus for Peterborough.
CHRIS MANN: Of course they are seasonal jobs, which means they’re coming in now, but they may well be lost of course again in January or February. Is there a way of turning seasonal jobs into full-time ones?
IAIN CRIGHTON: Well, I’d like to think that people who take these seasonal jobs, if they have been out of work for a while, it will give them a little bit of a shot of confidence, a bit of a boost to their morale, which will encourage them to think that they can find a job somewhere. There is that side of it. And you never know with these things. If Amazon carries on being very busy post-Christmas, maybe some of the jobs will become permanent jobs. But I think it’s nice that people going into Christmas can actually think, well, we’ve got some money coming into the house, so we can have a good Christmas. And also, for the local retail environment, hopefully they’ll be spending some of that money in the local shops.
CHRIS MANN: Is there any way of ensuring Iain that it’s local people that get these jobs?
IAIN CRIGHTON: Well I think that’s Amazon’s choice really. The answer is no. There’s no way of guaranteeing that. But logically, if people are looking at this type of work, they’re not going to want to travel very far, so the trend would tend to be local.
CHRIS MANN: Iain Crighton, thank you for joining me.