1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
First year is based in a college that is in the Manchester area, no matter where you're based. We attend college on weekdays to do PEO and one day of HNC. On college holidays we can go into our fulfilment centre where we shadow an automation engineer or help with projects.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt many skills from attending college as well as improved on my maths skills. You learn the basics in the first year with installation and fitting, which have given me the basic understanding of engineering. There are apprentices from 3 different companies (including Amazon) and they have helped me with improving my skills further.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
There are problems but the company running the apprenticeship are always improving and sorting out problems that arise on the education side so it's a bit of mixed emotions on that side. I enjoy being at the fulfilment centre and working with actual engineers. I learn a lot from them and they're all willing to help me when I need it.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
I don't feel that the organisation is amazing as it's the second year of the apprenticeship, but it's not bad and the people running it do try to help sort problems out. There have been lots of improvements throughout the year and hopefully next year the year will be a lot better structured. College side, there's lots of improvements that are needed.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
Amazon gives us support for living away from home and supply us with laptops to do the work, communication could be better but they usually reply or help. Hotel or flat is paid for as well as food and essentials. I feel spoilt by all these benefits as an apprentice/
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
The training provider has been a little bit of a mess with tutors leaving and tutors not knowing the subject they have been given to teach, which has made it hard for us. The workshop part has been brilliant and the tutors have helped us through the PEO part of the course. Some teachers have been great and others not so much.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Not everything we're learning will help us in the work place but understanding the basics from the workshop is beneficial. Some of the HNC classes will be helpful in the future but more PLC training would be highly beneficial for this apprenticeship. I don't feel that what we're learning is enough for our second year (first full time year in the fulfilment centre) but hopefully things will change for the better.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
We get invited to do days in Siemens which include networking, we also get invited to do career fairs to show off the apprenticeship. The college has many social activities and sport teams which can be enjoyed. Manchester is full of things to do. Not sure about the Fulfilment centre as I haven't had much time in there yet. You can also pitch ideas to the apprentice manager.
9a. Would you recommend Amazon to a friend?
They look after you with accommodation, travel and food when you're training so there's not many outgoings. It's a good name to have on your CV. It's a Degree Apprenticeship so you get a degree at the end. You're not locked into a contract at the end of the apprenticeship. You can go anywhere in the world with them when it's over. They're a decent company to work for.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Amazon?
Be passionate. They love passionate people who are very enthusiastic. If they like you they will train you, even if you don't have all the qualifications they require. Also if you apply for an apprenticeship and they think you're better suited to another one, they will let you know.