DARTFORD, SEPTEMBER 8, 2023Brit-nominated, South London artist Cat Burns was the headline act at a mentoring event for 200 aspiring apprentices in one of Amazon’s largest fulfilment centres in the UK, marking the tenth anniversary of the company’s apprenticeship programme.

Credit: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

The audience included Amazon employees and apprentices, alongside 200 members of Apprentice Nation, the career development platform, that uses the power of music to inspire 16-25-year olds to shape their future. 

In addition to the concert, attendees were given a tour of the centre, which is equipped with advanced Amazon robotics technology, to experience a behind the scenes look at what happens when they click ‘buy’ on the Amazon website and see the technology used to help deliver for millions of customers around the world every day. The Apprentice Nation members also took part in career development activities and a mass mentoring session with Amazon apprentices, employees and industry leaders from Lucozade and Havas, sharing their career stories and advice.

When the Amazon apprenticeship programme launched in 2013, it had one scheme – engineering – and only six apprentices. Five are still employees of the business today and are flourishing as engineers in fulfilment centres in Dunfermline, Rugeley and Swansea. This year, Amazon has offered hundreds of full-time apprenticeship roles across the UK starting at entry-level and including around 250 degree-level apprenticeships in over 30 different schemes ranging from engineering to broadcast production, warehouse team leaders to buying and merchandising.  

In total, since the launch of the Amazon apprenticeship programme in 2013, there have been 5,000 Amazon apprenticeships offered in the UK. The vast majority (85%) of employees who completed their apprenticeships have gone on to build successful careers at Amazon and currently 79% remain working with the company today. There are also over 1,600 apprentices currently taking part in the apprenticeship programme, making it one of the largest and broadest apprenticeship schemes in the UK

Amazon also launched new apprenticeship programmes for 2023 including cyber security and information communications technicians. The new apprenticeships highlight Amazon’s ongoing commitment to creating jobs and providing opportunities for training and up-skilling across the UK.

Credit: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Speaking at the event, double-platinum-selling Cat Burns said: “It’s been amazing to support young people with Apprentice Nation and celebrate ten years of Amazon apprenticeships in this incredible robotics fulfilment centre with such an inspiring group of people. So much of my own journey has been about ‘learning on the job’ and I know how valuable it is to have relatable mentors to offer support along the way. This event has shown just how powerful the combination of music and mentorship can be.” 

Credit: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

Amazon’s UK Country Manager, John Boumphreyspeaking at the event said: “We are exceptionally proud to be celebrating 10 years of our apprenticeship programme, providing opportunities for upskilling and retraining for people of all ages, at all stages of their careers.  Apprenticeships are key to equipping people with the skills they need to progress in today’s labour market, and we now offer one of the broadest and largest apprenticeship programmes in the UK. From young people entering the workplace for the first time, to older people looking to take their skills and careers in a new direction, our apprenticeship schemes illustrate that, at Amazon, there are opportunities for everyone.”

Stephen Greene CBE, CEO RockCorps & Producer of Apprentice Nation, said: “This is a time where we are all questioning university as being the dominant career route. There are many other ways to a career.  That is what Apprentice Nation does – offers options – in this case through our exciting and unique partnership with Amazon. We are stoked to have Cat Burns perform in Dartford and share her inspiring story with others. What an artist!”

Terry Macpherson from Pitsea, Basildon works at the Dartford site, having risen through the ranks from his first role at Amazon as a packer. Terry, who has worked for Amazon for five years, works as a proxy operations manager after graduating from the Amazon Chartered Management Degree apprenticeship (CMDA) in July of this year. 

Terry said: “Amazon has been a great employer to me. I really appreciate how much support and encouragement is given, especially when it comes to moving up and developing skills. It’s been great to meet lots of future potential apprentices, guiding them round our fulfilment centre and talking to them about the wide variety of apprenticeship roles available here. The Cat Burns gig capped what’s been a brilliant celebration of 10 years of apprenticeships at Amazon and I’m so happy to have played a part in this event.”

Apprentice Nation member, Jecoliah Frimpong, from Greenwich, said: “This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – Cat Burns was incredible and the mentors were really inspiring. I had no idea there were so many opportunities and different apprenticeships available at Amazon and it will definitely make me think of doing an apprenticeship instead of going to university!” 

After talking about her own career journey with host and Capital Radio DJ, Remel London, Cat Burns and her band performed a live set for the audience which included her hits Go and People Pleaser, all taking place in the state-of-the-art fulfilment centre. Cat has previously partnered with Amazon Music to release several exclusive performances including a live performance of Go ft Sam Smith,  and more recently Live More & Love More from the Amazon CURVED studio in London.  

In a recent YouGov survey, commissioned by Amazon, 86% of parents said they believed an apprenticeship would provide their child with a good chance of getting a permanent job, with 82% of them also agreeing that an apprenticeship provided good earnings potential.  

For more information about Amazon apprenticeships visit here

Explore more about Apprentice Nation at www.apprenticenation.co.uk


About Amazon: Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company, Earth’s Best Employer, and Earth’s Safest Place to Work. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalised recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire Tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Pledge are some of the things pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.co.uk/about and follow @AmazonNewsUK on Twitter.

About Apprentice Nation: Apprentice Nation is produced by RockCorps and Multiverse, supported by BT and Lucozade, working to get more historically underrepresented youth into apprenticeships and other accessible career routes. They provide early-career support; mixing learning with entertainment and inspiring young people to get career-ready through free concerts, live events and a free, on-demand learning series. Celebrating a wide range of career paths, the programme attracts a diverse mix of young people who are often underrepresented in more traditional careers support formats. In addition to gaining fundamental skills for the future, participants earn rewards for taking part in gamified learning opportunities.

Latest stats on Apprentice Nation membership:

32% told us they have received free school meals vs. 17% national average

17% are from a household with a parent or guardian with a University degree vs. 43% nationally

27% Black participants vs. 3.5% national average

21% Asian participants vs 7.5% national average