These employees who work at Amazon UK fulfilment centres and delivery stations are hoping their career stories will inspire others to engage in lifelong learning during Learning at Work Week 2022 (16th-22nd May).
Learning at Work Week is an annual programme, run by the charity Campaign for Learning. The charity works with organisations around the UK to help create activities and fun challenges in the workplace to help employees learn and grow.
The theme of Learning at Work Week 2022 is Learning Uncovered, and will focus on deepening society’s understanding, knowledge and engagement in lifelong and continual learning. Let’s meet some of the Amazon employees who have used continual learning as part of their career pathway.
‘Endless opportunities’ thanks to Career Choice
Last year, Amazon UK announced a £10 million investment to train up to 5,000 employees in new skills. The training is provided through Amazon’s Career Choice programme, where the company pays course fees for its employees who have expressed an interest in pursuing a career elsewhere in Amazon or outside the company.
The Career Choice programme provides funding for adult education, and pre-pays 95% of tuition and associated fees for nationally recognised courses, up to £8,000 over four years. Courses available range from accountancy to HGV drivers and software developers and are designed to help employees pursue careers outside of Amazon if they choose to do that.
One Amazon employee who has used Career Choice to propel her career opportunities forward is Agnieszka Oles, who works at the fulfilment centre in Bolton.
Agnieszka, originally from Poland, has been living in England for 14 years and joined Amazon in August 2018 following a 10-year career in the hospitality industry. Agnieszka had reached the point in her previous role where no further progression opportunities were available, and she decided it was time to try something new.
As a mother of two young children, Agnieszka appreciates the great work-life balance Amazon offers her. Career development and the chance to be more present for her children were the motivating factors behind her initial application to the company.
Today, Agnieszka is proud to say that she has worked across multiple departments and in various roles during her time with Amazon, starting out as an associate in the inbound team before working her way up to her current role of acting area manager at the fulfilment centre in Bolton. Agnieszka has used the Amazon Career Choice programme to aid her career progression.
Speaking on Amazon’s Career Choice programme, Agnieszka said: “The opportunities are endless. I have recently completed CIPD Level 3 and Level 5 in HR, with 95% of the fees covered by Amazon. I couldn’t have completed these courses without this support.”
Agnieszka cites the growth opportunities, Amazon’s people-first approach, and the support she’s received as other key factors in her professional development.
When it comes to the favourite part of her current role, Agnieszka praises her teammates at Amazon in Bolton. “The best thing about working at Amazon is our team” she said. “I have amazing examples of leaders around me; every day is a different day, and every day we learn something new. We’ve got such a diverse environment, which makes me feel at home and feel like I belong here. Everyone has time for others.”
Agnieszka is currently studying a three-year Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship with Amazon and Manchester Metropolitan University, which she started in January, with the long-term goal of becoming a permanent area manager. She hopes to remain at the fulfilment centre in Bolton, a town in which she feels her family is now thriving thanks to Amazon.
Seasonal worker to station manager
Amazon offers many other development programmes alongside Career Choice. One Amazon employee who has used multiple learning opportunities to progress his career with the company is Bobby Clements. Bobby is the delivery station manager at Amazon in Barking.
Bobby joined Amazon in 2014 as a temporary sortation associate during a period of seasonal recruitment. Having recently left a desk-job career as a website designer, he knew he wanted to find work in a fast paced, active environment, so he got a job at Amazon to try something new as he figured out a career plan.
Since joining Amazon, Bobby has been promoted four times and now holds a position as delivery station manager. Today, he is proud to say that he’s worked in five Amazon delivery stations across the UK, and he is currently responsible for leading a team of more than 50 employees at the company’s delivery station in Barking.
“Working at Amazon is never boring,” said Bobby. “Employees are given so many opportunities to continue learning, and it really excites me. I always tell people to take advantage of the open doors and get stuck in, because the more people you know, the more you know and the more help you can give.”
What’s Bobby’s favourite part of his role? “The opportunity to build a team culture”, he said. “I am privileged to play a direct role in the lives of my colleagues, helping them to grow both as leaders and as people. The mentorship programmes available at Amazon have been hugely beneficial for me as I’ve progressed in my career and taken on new responsibilities, so it’s important to me that I give back and support others as they develop. I want to create an environment that encourages people to ask questions, especially ‘why?’.”
Later this year, Bobby will be moving to a new role at Amazon, helping the company to organise the biggest logistical events of the year, including Prime Day and Black Friday.
Something new and fresh for the future
Fionnula Mooney joined Amazon in 2019 through the Amazon graduate programme. Upon graduating from Queen’s University in Belfast with a degree in human biology, she wanted something new and fresh for the future, so she applied for a place on the Amazon graduate scheme. Her application was successful, and she moved to Scotland to join Amazon.
Since starting the graduate programme, Fionnula has progressed through the ranks to take on management roles in three Amazon delivery stations across the UK. She’s currently a change manager at the company’s delivery station in Motherwell.
Fionnula explains how the guidance of her managers at Amazon, along with world-class training programmes, has helped her develop her career. “My training is very personalised and very tailored to me on an individual basis,” Fionnula said. “When I joined Amazon, my manager at the time, and other managers around me, saw what my skills were and adapted what they taught me on a daily basis. I was very much supported through my development here.”
Fionnula’s favourite part of her role is mostly the support she gets from her managers and the team she works with. “I’ve had a lot of different people spend a lot of time with me, developing me, mentoring me, taking me down the right path,” she said. “That sense of shared ownership for development and development of new talent is something I really enjoy at Amazon.”
When looking to the future, Fionnula has aspirations of a more senior leadership position at Amazon.
Growing up in Northern Ireland, she hopes to transfer back home to a similar role, or ideally in a step-up role as she continues with her career development.
If Agnieszka, Fionnula and Bobby’s career journeys at Amazon sound interesting, then applications for fulfilment roles across the UK are currently open here.
Amazon employees receive competitive pay and comprehensive benefits. Pay starts at £10.00 per hour and employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package, including private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection and an employee discount – which combined are worth more than £700 annually – as well as a company pension plan.
Learn more about the benefits of working at Amazon