This year, Amazon employees across the UK have shared their stories with the aim of inspiring others to achieve their professional goals through lifelong learning at work.
Learning at Work Week is an annual programme run by the charity Campaign for Learning. The charity works with organisations around the UK to create activities and fun challenges in the workplace to help employees learn and grow.
This year’s theme, Create the Future, explores how lifelong learning at work can help individuals and communities achieve life and work goals, shape lives, drive innovation and achieve organisational ambitions.
Amazon 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.
Since launching in the UK in 2014, Career Choice has seen around 13,000 participants explore a range of opportunities, including starting or returning to school, learning new skills and languages, or earning industry certifications.
Career Choice a ‘no-brainer’ for Thayana
Following a five-year career as a flight attendant, Thayana Triacca now works at the Amazon Fresh distribution centre in Liverpool as an operations supervisor. Whilst working, she is also studying web development through the Amazon Career Choice programme.
Speaking on why she decided to take part in Amazon Career Choice, Thayana said: “I’ve had a keen interest in web development since the age of 15 when my dad arranged for me to take a basic course in the field and said it would be a great fit for me.
“I knew that Amazon would cover the cost of my course, I’d be given a great mentor, and the application process was very easy, so it was a no-brainer for me when I was thinking about applying. I can also continue in my role as an operations supervisor while boosting my skills in another area.”
Thayana is nearing completion of the web development course and hopes to pursue a career in the industry at Amazon in the near future.
From entrepreneur to lifelong learner
Hammad Lateef from Burton-on-Trent works at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Kegworth as a supply chain warehouse operative. He is also a temporary fulfilment centre lead in the inventory control quality assurance department.
Alongside his role at Amazon, Hammad has completed a computing diploma and business improvement techniques National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) through the Amazon Career Choice programme.
Prior to joining Amazon, Hammad ran his own service business for 17 years, before deciding it was time for a change. His Amazon journey began at the company’s fulfilment centre in Kegworth just before the pandemic hit in 2020.
Speaking about his career change, Hammad explained: “After running my own business for a long time, it’s great to work as part of a team every day, and to be a part of a strong community and support network. Being able to play a part in helping others develop whilst also learning from my peers is something I am very grateful for.”
To anyone considering putting themselves forward for the Amazon Career Choice programme, Hammad said: “Believe in yourself! There are fantastic opportunities available at Amazon to develop both personally and professionally. My advice is to understand your skills, embrace the training and support opportunities you’re given and always strive to learn.”
Hammad hopes to continue in his current role and eventually receive a promotion. He is also keen to share his knowledge with others and plans to volunteer with Amazon to educate young people in his local area about the opportunities available.
Taking careers to the next level
Bijesh Shahi, who works at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Swindon, has also used Amazon’s development and training opportunities to shape his professional career at the company.
Whilst working on the HR team at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Swindon, Bijesh is studying for a CIPD level three diploma in HR through the Amazon Career Choice programme.
Prior to joining Amazon, Bijesh was a student, completing a course in economics at IS Paolo Frisi di Milano in Italy in 2017. Following graduation and a move to the UK, Bijesh stumbled upon a job advertisement for the Swindon fulfilment centre when the site was due to open in the town in 2021. He applied for a role as an Amazon fulfilment centre employee and has been with the company ever since.
As part of his current role at Amazon, Bijesh helps colleagues with HR-related queries and supports managers and stakeholders to keep processes on site running smoothly.
Speaking on what he enjoys most about his job, Bijesh said: “I enjoy working with a knowledgeable team that I can learn from every day. As I was keen to continue my professional development in this way, I was able to enrol in the CIPD diploma through Career Choice, which is an opportunity I wouldn’t have had without Amazon. HR has many intricacies, so I am enjoying learning more about Amazon’s policies so that I can continue progressing in my career at the company.”
After completing the CIPD level three diploma, Bijesh hopes to pursue a level five diploma, and has his eyes set on a successful career in HR.
LinkedIn rated Amazon second on its list of Top Companies in the UK, citing skills training and opportunities for growth as key differentiators.
In addition, Amazon 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 is investing £10 million over three years in training up to 5,000 employees in new skills to meet the UK’s future employment needs outside of Amazon. Amazon also partners with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and local businesses on the programme to identify regional skills shortages and focus training on local demand.
In 2021, Amazon launched a £2.5m Apprenticeship Fund as part of an ongoing commitment to support career opportunities and skills development across England. Ranking in the top 100 apprenticeship employers in the UK, Amazon provides apprenticeship schemes ranging from sustainability and creative digital design to engineering and logistics for entry level to degree level candidates.
If you want to know more about a career with Amazon, visit Amazon Jobs.