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Amazon pledges to create 750 apprenticeships for SMEs

750 apprenticeships for SMEs

Amazon has announced that it will support the creation of more than 750 apprenticeships in 250 small and medium-sized organisations across England by next year.

 The 300 new roles over the next twelve months will be funded by Amazon in small businesses and organisations selling on the store, Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers, creative industry partners and local authorities through the company’s apprenticeship levy.

The fund will cover a wide range of schemes, from Digital Marketing to Visual Effects Artists, Cyber Security specialists and more. The schemes last between 12-48 months and include apprenticeship standards up to £27,000. Apprentices will also receive a mix of on-the-job and classroom training.

 Commenting on the initiative, James Campanini, CEO of AWS reseller VeUP said:

 “Enabling the next generation of young people to access to high quality apprenticeship schemes is critical for both social mobility and economic growth. This initiative will open doors for hundreds of school leavers, allowing them to pursue exciting career opportunities in the high growth cloud industry, alongside on-the-job training. 

“This another example of the tech industry stepping forward with a practical programme and substantial investment to help close the UK’s chronic skills gap,” said Campanini.

 Amazon also supports students, teachers and parents with free computer science & STEM education programmes. Since launching in 2019, Amazon Future Engineer has reached over 400,000 students across the UK. 

“People across the country have been given a head-start in their career, or transferred into a new career with the right support and opportunities. As we expand, we hope other larger employers will also choose to transfer some of their unspent levy to create more valuable apprenticeship roles for people across England to gain new skills,” said John Boumphrey

UK Country Manager, Amazon.

 In the past five years, Amazon has onboarded more than 3,000 apprentices, with three quarters completing their respective schemes, well above the national retention average (51%). Nearly 9 in 10 (86%) of apprentices who were on a scheme at Amazon have gone on to take a permanent role at the company after completing their programme.

 Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, Robert Halfon said: “Thanks to Amazon’s continued investment in apprenticeships, over 450 apprenticeship roles in partner organisations have been created in the past two years alone. This is a fantastic example of how transformative the apprenticeship levy can be, allowing other businesses and SMEs across a range of in-demand sectors like manufacturing and social care to employ people with the specific skills their businesses need.”

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