750 to benefit from Amazon apprentice scheme

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024

Amazon estimates it will have supported the creation of more than 750 apprenticeships outside the company in over 250 small and medium-sized organisations across England by next year. It is part of an £8 million investment it has made since launching its Apprenticeship Fund in 2021.

In the next 12 months, Amazon will fund over 300 new apprenticeship roles in small businesses and organisations selling on Amazon, Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers, creative industry partners and local authorities through the company’s apprenticeship levy.

These will cover a wide range of jobs, from Digital Marketing to Visual Effects Artists and Cyber Security specialists. Lasting between 12-48 months, and covering apprenticeship standards up to £27,000, apprentices will receive a mix of on-the-job and classroom training.

Apprenticeships play an important role in securing a talent pipeline for the future, providing hands-on experience and an alternative entry-point to the workforce. Amazon has successfully delivered its own apprenticeship programme for more than 10 years, and has been recognised as one of the largest and most diverse programmes in England by Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers.

In the past five years, Amazon has onboarded more than 3,000 apprentices, with three quarters completing their respective schemes, well above the national retention average (51%). Nearly 9 in 10 (86%) of apprentices who were on a scheme at Amazon have gone on to take a permanent role at the company after completing their programme.

John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, said:“When we launched in 2021, we made a commitment to support around 250 new apprenticeships through the fund, but we’ve been inspired by the success of the programme to date, and expect to create around three times that number by this time next year.

“It means people across the country have been given a head-start in their career, or transferred into a new career with the right support and opportunities. As we expand, we hope other larger employers will also choose to transfer some of their unspent levy to create more valuable apprenticeship roles for people across England to gain new skills, supporting productivity and innovation.”

Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Robert Halfon described it as a “fantastic example of how transformative the apprenticeship levy can be, allowing other businesses and SMEs across a range of in-demand sectors like manufacturing and social care to employ people with the specific skills their businesses need”.

James Campanini, CEO of AWS reseller VeUP described as “another example of the tech industry stepping forward with a practical programme and substantial investment to help close the UK’s chronic skills gap,”

He added: “Enabling the next generation of young people to access to high quality apprenticeship schemes is critical for both social mobility and economic growth. This initiative will open doors for hundreds of school leavers, allowing them to pursue exciting career opportunities in the high growth cloud industry, alongside on-the-job training.”

SME Publications/ SME XPO 2024