Amazon’s Career Choice employee education benefit has reached a milestone with Sohil Ambelal Patel becoming the 100,000th participant to join the scheme. It represents a second landmark moment for the programme which also celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2022.

Career Choice is an innovative programme which provides funding for adult education, offering to pre-pay 95% of tuition and reimburse employees for eligible fees for nationally recognised courses; up to £8,000 over four years. Courses available include accountancy, HGV driving and software development, and are designed to help employees pursue careers at Amazon or elsewhere. It means those eligible, like Sohil, are given the opportunity to gain the skills and qualifications needed to pursue their career aspirations.

Sohil sits in the driver's seat of an HGV
Sohil sits in the driver's seat of an HGV

Sohil first joined Amazon in 2021, following in the footsteps of his wife, sister and brother-in-law, who have also worked at the fulfilment centre in Hinckley. He works as a process guide in the shipping department and in just over a year has become an integral part of the team. In addition to his usual responsibilities, which include ensuring packages are loaded onto vehicles safely, Sohil also trains new employees. Due to his high standard of work, he has also become a quality auditor, ensuring his team delivers the best possible service to customers.

While he enjoys working at Amazon and alongside his family, Sohil has always been committed to expanding his skillset, and in particular becoming a truck driver.

Sohil said: “I have been at Amazon for just over a year now and I’ve enjoyed every moment of working at the Hinckley fulfilment centre. Before I joined, I wanted to be an HGV driver but didn’t have the money to pay for the programme independently.

“If it wasn’t for Career Choice, I don’t think I would have been able to go ahead with this course. I’m excited to learn a new skill that can help me start a new career in the future.”

He added: “I have been lucky to work with a great team leader at Amazon who is always there to support and highlight opportunities to learn new skills.”

Sohil’s family are extremely supportive of him. His brother-in-law, Jay Patel, who works with Sohil at the fulfilment centre, said: “We know that Sohil will be a brilliant HGV driver! He is extremely hardworking and determined, both inside and outside work, and gives 100% to everything.”

Gary Norton, General Manager at the Hinckley Fulfilment Centre, said: “I am so happy we can celebrate this milestone, and congratulations to Sohil on being Career Choice participant number 100,000. I’m incredibly proud to work for a company which offers a scheme like this. Investing in the careers of our colleagues and providing them with opportunities to learn new skills to fulfil their ambitions is incredibly important.”

The Career Choice programme has continued to expand throughout 2022, with global participation growing by almost 60,000 in the last year, and with nearly 5,000 participants coming from the UK alone.

“Career development is at the core of our culture at Amazon. We know not everyone’s career is going to look the same -- growth can include non-traditional paths for hourly employees, such as the ability to develop new skills, explore new roles, and build and manage teams of all sizes” said Beth Galetti, SVP People, eXperience, and Technology at Amazon. “We look forward to continuing our support of Amazonians like Sohil as they grow in their careers.”

Learn more about the Career Choice programme.