Amazon teams across the country, in fulfilment centres, delivery stations, sort centres and corporate offices, celebrated Armed Forces Day (25th June) by shining a light on some of the veterans and reservists working across Amazon’s UK operations network.
Many of the veterans working at Amazon joined the company through the Amazon Military Programme, which offers members of the military community the opportunity to pursue a wide range of exciting new career paths at Amazon.
This year Amazon will recruit over 300 veterans, reservists and military spouses across the business in over 35 different jobs ranging from health & safety specialists, engineers, sales managers and team leaders to senior managers. These new employees join over 2,500 already employed at Amazon since it commenced its military programme in 2011.
Back with my military family in Bolton
Kayleigh Beckley is a Royal Navy veteran who joined the company in 2019. Kayleigh currently works as a RME technician based at the Bolton fulfilment centre. Before joining Amazon, Kayleigh served nine years as an aircraft engineering technician in the Royal Navy.
Speaking on why she joined Amazon after leaving the military, Kayleigh said: “I wanted to continue my career in engineering and began applying for relevant roles at Amazon, after hearing about the focus on culture and career development from others who had joined through the Amazon Military Programme.”
After joining the Amazon team, Kayleigh added: “It was great to be back with my military family, but in a civilian way.”
During her time at Amazon, Kayleigh has become involved with many affinity groups within the company, constantly maintaining and building new relationships with others who have had similar military experiences. Kayleigh is a member of the Amazon Warriors, Women in Amazon, and Women in Engineering groups – whilst also having a passion to guide and assist female engineering apprentices in the company.
From Sandhurst to Tilbury
Another veteran working at Amazon is Jason Jibb, who joined the company two years ago through the Amazon Military Programme. Jason, who works at the Tilbury fulfilment centre, had a military career lasting eight years before moving to Amazon. He joined the Armed Forces after leaving university and began his officer training in Sandhurst.
Throughout his years in the military, Jason progressed through different roles including troop leader and second-in-command.
After serving for eight years, he decided to leave the Army to develop and focus on himself and other aspects within his life, leading him to joining the Amazon team, where he initially undertook the role of area manager.
Speaking on why he joined Amazon after leaving the military, Jason said: “I was aware of the key underlining similarities between Amazon and the military. Through speaking to several individuals, they indicated that Amazon is less of a steep learning curve than other companies and this was appealing to me. In the Armed Forces, we develop abilities like leadership and team management, and this sets us up well for a career at Amazon. In addition to the shared qualities in both organisations, the work at Amazon also offers a platform to learn new things in an environment that could be considered quite familiar.”
Transferrable skills in Jarrow
Derick Adu Poku joined Amazon through the Amazon Military Programme two years ago and is currently working as a team lead apprentice based at the Jarrow delivery station.
Before joining Amazon, Derick served as an Infantry soldier in the British Army for eight years. Derick feels his time in the armed forces has provided him with skills transferrable to his role with Amazon, including commitment and growth mindset, teamwork, discipline, and professionalism.
Derick explains why he joined Amazon. “I served in the British Army for eight years before beginning my career with Amazon in a temporary position. I really enjoyed the culture at Amazon, so I looked for a permanent role at the company and was successful in my application,” he said.
“My time at Amazon has given me the chance to experience various roles, and when the opportunity arose to apply for the apprenticeship programme, I didn’t think twice as I wanted to continue my career progression. Being a part of the Team Leader apprenticeship scheme is a great way to learn, improve my skillset and be amongst a network of other future leaders for Amazon.”
Derick is passionate about his career progression at Amazon and would encourage anyone who has recently left the military, or is thinking of leaving the military, to consider the opportunities Amazon has to offer.
Advice for veterans
While talking about their career backgrounds, Jason and Kayleigh also offered some advice to anyone who has recently left, or even just considering leaving the military.
“Have confidence in your ability and take the time to show a degree of humility,” Jason said. “Take time to learn and understand, as I had to go back to the drawing board when I first joined Amazon. Try to re-learn certain skills and do not be afraid to ask for support.”
Kayleigh added: “Amazon is a great company for ex-military people to work as you are surrounded by your military family and the sense of comradery. I would advise to get involved with the affinity groups that Amazon offer, giving you the opportunity to build on new and existing connections with people who have shared similar experiences – which is evident through a retreat I recently attended as part of the Women in Engineering group.”
Employer of the Year
Amazon has been awarded the Employer of the Year Award at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards for two years in succession for its outstanding efforts in supporting ex-services personnel and military spouses. The Ex-Forces in Business Awards is the world’s largest celebration of military veterans in second careers.
The awards are dedicated to providing a much-needed platform for uncovering and showcasing the business achievements of ex-military, recognising the value veterans add to businesses as well as the employers that support the transition of servicemen and women. Amazon’s military onboarding plan, dedicated mentoring platform and thriving employee resource group ‘Warriors at Amazon’ continue to ensure our ex-forces have the best possible start to their second careers in Industry.
Amazon is also a proud signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant, originally introduced in 2011, has a focus on helping the Armed Forces community to access the same support from government and commercial services as the public.
Amazon first signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2013 and renewed its commitment in 2021, vowing to uphold its key principles and to demonstrate its commitment to serving personnel, reservists, veterans and families.
Amazon provides competitive pay, comprehensive benefits and a modern, safe and engaging work environment for its employees. The roles pay a minimum of £10.00 or £11.10 per hour depending on location, and Amazon employees can also take advantage of Amazon’s pioneering Career Choice programme, which pre-pays 95% of tuition for courses in high-demand fields, up to £8,000 over four years, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.
Amazon also provides opportunities to improve existing skills or learn new ones through internal career progression opportunities such as cross-training, transferring to a different department and promotion into a managerial role.
Amazon has invested over £32 billion in the UK since 2010 to provide convenience, selection and value to UK consumers, while supporting tens of thousands of businesses and creative professionals including small businesses selling on Amazon’s online stores, Amazon Web Services developers and Kindle Direct Publishing authors.
To find out more about beginning a career with Amazon, visit Amazon Jobs