In the town of Rugeley in Staffordshire surrounded by the picturesque Cannock Chase, a nationally-recognised area of natural beauty, lies an Amazon fulfilment centre. Named after Birmingham airport, the BHX1 fulfilment centre opened its doors in 2011.
Thomas Mason joined Amazon in 2012 and has worked in picking, shipping and problem-solving before becoming a health and safety coordinator in 2016.
“I was 18 when I first joined Amazon. BHX1 as a site at the time was a lot like me – young and swiftly developing – we’ve grown together,” said Thomas.
As part of a programme called ‘I Found the Right Place’ Amazon invited employees from fulfilment centres across the UK to explain what they like best about working at Amazon and why it is the right place for them. More than 800 employees from across the UK and dozens from each site put pen to paper.
“Amazon has become far more than just a job for me; it has become such a positive life-changer. My biggest achievement so far is becoming a Health and Safety Coordinator and the Amazon Career Choice programme has enabled me to apply for a NEBOSH General Certificate course to further my knowledge in the health and safety field of study!” Wrote Thomas.
All of the entries were anonymised and the best entry from each fulfilment centre was chosen. The chosen employees were invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to Seattle, U.S., to explore the Amazon head office and see where it all started.
“When I was told I was going to Seattle I was thrilled, I had a tear in my eye. It was emotional. I thought that people like me don’t get this kind of opportunity,” said Thomas.
During the five-day trip to Seattle, Thomas and Amazon colleagues from sites across the UK were shown around the city and enjoyed a trip up the Space Needle. They also went on a tour of the Amazon campus and the robotics fulfilment centre in Kent, Washington, where they met Amazon’s chief scientist.
Speaking of the trip, Thomas said “I can’t narrow down my favourite part, it’s all been incredible. You couldn’t ask for a better group of people, meeting the other participants has really made the trip for me. It’s been a dream come true coming to the USA.”
Sharing his experience for anyone considering a career at Amazon, Thomas said: “My attitude to work, my confidence and personality have all improved and greatened significantly thanks to Amazon. My experience working for the company has been fantastic – the people who I have had the pleasure of working with have been a huge inspiration for my development.”