Online retail giant Amazon is helping to create 200 new apprenticeships at small businesses in England with the launch of a £2.5 million fund.
The Amazon Apprenticeship Fund has been created to help fund new roles across a variety of industries – such as digital marketing, visual effects, software development and cyber security – in 2021.
£1 million of the fund will be specifically used to create apprenticeship roles at smaller partner organisations in the creative industries, linked to Amazon Music and Amazon Studios.
While small businesses who sell on Amazon’s stores and Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers who take on re/Start graduates will be able to take on apprentices with the training funded by Amazon through the levy transfer scheme.
AWS re/Start is a free, full-time skills development and training programme that prepares individuals for careers in the cloud and connects them to potential employers.
As part of the scheme, a number of local authorities will serve as a transfer partner for small businesses including the West Midlands Combined Authority, London Progression Collaboration and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Amazon’s UK country manager, John Boumphrey 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 eco-system the opportunity to take on talented apprentices who will help those organisations grow.”
Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan, 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. 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, Amazon announced it is recruiting more than 1,000 full-time apprentices in 2021, covering 25 different programmes ranging from IT, safety technician and HR – with more than 500 new apprenticeships being offered to Amazon’s existing workforce.
The company also revealed that it is looking to create more than 10,000 permanent jobs this year, taking its total workforce to more than 55,000 people by the end of 2021..