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East Midlands Chamber News

Amazon creates £2.5m apprenticeship fund to help small businesses across England upskill their workforces

Amazon has pledged to invest £2.5m in helping small businesses across England take on apprentices through the levy transfer scheme.

The Amazon Apprenticeship Fund will help create more than 200 apprenticeships in 2021, with roles now available across digital marketing, business administration, post-production technical operators, visual effects artists, broadcast and media technicians, DevOps engineers, AI data specialists, software development, data analysts and cyber security technologists.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers that take on AWS re/Start graduates, as well as the company’s small creative industry partners and SMEs selling via Amazon’s stores, will be able to take on apprentices in order to upskill their workforce – with the training funded by Amazon through a levy transfer.

The e-commerce giant, a strategic partner of East Midlands Chamber, will work directly with small businesses selling on Amazon to help boost their productivity, sales, exports and marketing skills for the digital age by taking on apprentices who will undertake training in these areas.

John Boumphrey, UK country manager at Amazon, said: “We are proud to be creating new opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds across England to gain skills through the Amazon Apprenticeship Fund.

“We are committed to supporting the UK’s economic recovery post-Covid, and this fund will give our partners, customers and small businesses in the Amazon ecosystem the opportunity to take on talented apprentices who will help those organisations grow.”

What the Amazon apprenticeships involve

Lasting between 12 and 48 months, and covering apprenticeship standards funding of up to £27,000, apprentices will receive a mix of on-the-job and classroom training, together with specialist online learning provided by Amazon that covers how to build a successful e-commerce business, how to market and advertise products to customers, and how to sell to a global customer base.

Amazon has set aside £1m over two years within the Apprenticeship Fund specifically to support apprenticeship roles in the creative industries, including across film, TV, music and publishing.

Gillian Keegan, minister for apprenticeships and skills, said: “It is brilliant to see Amazon continuing to support apprenticeships within its business and beyond.

“Apprenticeships play a key role in helping businesses of all sizes develop the skilled workforce they need and secure their talent pipeline for the future.

“With apprenticeships available for a huge range of exciting careers, from digital marketing to data analyst, cyber security to broadcast technician, there are so many great opportunities available at a range of levels.

As a former apprentice myself, I know the life changing impact an apprenticeship can have. I’d urge as many people as possible to check out the opportunities on offer.”

Earlier this year, it announced 1,000 new apprenticeship roles in 2021 within the company, including 100 degree-level apprenticeships that pay up to £30,000 a year, and more than 500 apprenticeships for Amazon employees.

In May, the company announced it will create more than 10,000 permanent jobs in 2021, taking its total workforce to more than 55,000 people by the end of the year.

A £10m investment was also pledged over three years as part of the Amazon Career Choice programme to train up to 5,000 of its employees in new skills that could help them pursue careers outside the firm, in a partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce.

Small businesses either in the creative industries, selling on Amazon or customers of AWS that are interested in creating apprenticeships are encourage to contact apprenticeshipfund@amazon.com. For more information, visit www.amazonapprenticeships.co.uk.