James started a mechatronics apprenticeship with Amazon in iPort, Doncaster in September 2017. He is working towards a qualification to become a reliability and maintenance engineer after four years of training study with Amazon and EEF, Birmingham.

Speaking about the Amazon Apprenticeship Programme, James said, “I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship role at Amazon because it’s really varied, and no two days are the same. I also enjoy working with my team because everyone is so supportive. There is a great team culture here which is a big plus for me.”

There is a great team culture here which is a big plus for me
James Varley

James wanted to be a pilot when he was younger but when he grew up to be six foot six tall, unfortunately that was no longer an option, so he began to think about alternative careers.

“I knew I wanted to do something practical as I’ve always been interested in taking things apart and putting them back together and when I was younger I loved building LEGO and Mechano sets. I suppose that set me on the path I’m on today. I looked around for opportunities and the Amazon programme seemed like a perfect fit,” said James.

“The most important thing I’ve learned during my time at Amazon in Doncaster is trust; to trust my team and to trust myself. The apprenticeship has been great for developing my self-belief.”

James is one of over 300 apprentices currently working at Amazon in the UK. Amazon has announced it will create a further 1,000 new apprenticeships for new and existing employees in fulfilment centres and development centres across the country. The new apprentices will add to over 27,500 permanent employees currently in the UK, with pay ranging from an entry level starting salary of £9.50/£10.50 an hour, up to £30,000 a year.

Nine different programmes are on offer across the country to people of all levels, ranging from IT, safety and HR through to software engineering, robotics, leadership and technology.

Two-in-every-ten new apprenticeships will be offered exclusively to Amazon’s existing workforce, providing a route from working on the shop floor through to working on cutting-edge software development, robotics technology and senior leadership roles in the business.

In addition to being fully-funded, apprentices also receive industry-leading benefits including competitive pay, employee discounts, private medical insurance and company pension plan.

For anyone thinking about applying for an apprenticeship, James has some advice: “Apply right away! Also, if you are lucky enough to get an interview, then ask a lot of questions while you’re here. I think it’s important to get to know the programme from the earliest possible stage. Amazon is a great place to work. It has a brilliant team with great cultural diversity.”

To find out more about the Amazon Apprenticeship Programme visit www.amazon.jobs/apprentices