A pilot, a scientist and a dog boarding entrepreneur are just some of the people who have taken up jobs at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Dunfermline during the Covid-19 crisis.
The fallout from coronavirus has led thousands of businesses to temporarily stop trading and millions of workers to be furloughed.
Meanwhile, with online shopping sales exploding, internet retailer Amazon has hired more than 15,000 people in full and part-time positions for its fulfilment centres and logistics network.
The new employees at Amazon Dunfermline have come from a diverse range of backgrounds.
Elaine Warburton, from Scotlandwell near Loch Leven, ran the Barking Mad Fife and Kinross franchise for the last six years with her husband John, offering dog sitting and bespoke dog holidays.
She said: “On March 24 our business, home-from-home doggy holidays, stopped immediately.
“We suddenly found ourselves with no money coming in and still having bills to pay.
“The job brings in a much needed income but also gives me and the family a structure and routine to the week which is very helpful in these troubled times.”
Amazon has implemented a series of preventative health measures including more cleaning, introducing the two-metre distancing rule, staggering shift start times and break times and providing hand sanitiser stations.
Face masks have been made available to employees and drivers, temperature checks have been implemented and deliveries are contact-free.
“Working in the warehouse is enjoyable, there’s a bit of banter but people are respecting the need for social distancing,” Elaine added.
“It’s clear that Amazon are taking the situation very seriously and doing their best to provide a safe environment to work in.”
Greg Poulter-Jones, who worked as a pilot for Flybe, is currently working in the shipping department at the Fife fulfilment centre.
He said: “I appreciate being given the opportunity to work at this time.
“I’ve been able to meet a lot of great people from all different backgrounds, and yet very similar situations to myself.
“I hope to fly again soon and may go back into instructing depending on how quickly the airline industry recovers.”
Alasdair Lennon, from Dunfermline, worked as a research scientist in the field of quantum technology at the University of Strathclyde.
His contract ended as the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown happened which made trying to get a job relevant to his skill set incredibly difficult.
He is currently working as a picker at his local fulfilment centre and plans to look for jobs within Scotland’s flourishing photonics industry.
He said: “The best thing about working at Amazon is that the people easy-going and the job is a lot more relaxed than expected.”
Any Amazon employee diagnosed with Covid-19 or placed into quarantine receives up to two weeks’ of additional paid time off.
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