Online giant Amazon has recruited thousands of staff as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, including workers who have lost their jobs in recent weeks in sectors ranging from education to travel and tourism.
More than 15,000 full and part-time positions have been filled across Amazon’s fulfilment and logistics network.
New recruits range from an arborist, architect, beautician and lifeguard to a pilot, scientists, a singer and tattooists.
Professional speedway rider Ricky Wells, who grew up in California, is working at Amazon’s site in Doncaster.
He said: “Due to Covid-19, speedway throughout Europe was cancelled in late March along with most other professional sports.
“The closing of the competition has resulted in my sponsors withdrawing from the sport, as well as losing my performance-based wages which were gained through race finishing positions.
“I’ve never worked in a warehouse before but I like it because it’s always busy.
“Everyone is really friendly and it’s great to work with such a diverse group.
“I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked how a guy from California ended up in Doncaster, but I like Doncaster a lot.
“It’s given me a goal and got me out of the house, as well as provided a nice income to keep things turning over, removing a lot of the stress I was facing before.”
Anne Herzog, who previously worked as a barista at international conferences, is now at Amazon’s Peterborough fulfilment centre.
She said: “Conferences were being cancelled one after the other and I’m just not used to sitting at home – there’s only so much relaxing you can enjoy.”