Kirsty and Nicola are discovering fantastic career opportunities thanks to Amazon UK's paid apprenticeship schemes offering professional experience

Home    Amazon    Insight

Women are fulfiling career dreams thanks to Amazon apprenticeships

Women are fulfiling career dreams thanks to Amazon apprenticeships

 June 13, 2019

Amazon has recently extended its range of paid apprenticeship schemes in the UK. There are now 10 different programmes are now available, four of them specifically designed for Amazon employees, that blend theoretical and hands-on learning. The schemes will allow participants to acquire professional experience and key competences to further their careers, and to apply for permanent positions at Amazon at the end of their journey.

Meet two women, Kirsty and Nicola, who are fulfiling their career dreams thanks to Amazon's apprenticeship scheme.

Embracing change and forging a new career path

Kirsty Mallinder is a woman who isn't scared of change. 

“I guess I’m not your typical apprentice,” she says.

For her, Amazon represented a new professional beginning. “After starting my career as a graphic designer, I became a certified personal trainer and martial arts instructor,” she explains. “Then an injury and a new relationship prompted me to reconsider my plans. I left London, moved to Manchester and found a job in an Amazon FC. Eventually, my relationship didn’t work out, but the job did – I loved it. And I decided to stay.”

Kirsty’s career at Amazon began as an associate in the multipack area, but soon her curious nature led her to search for opportunities to learn and advance in her career. Her manager encouraged her to apply for an Amazon Business Improvement Techniques apprenticeship.

“The two-year scheme is designed to give you the tools, techniques and certifications to become a team lead,” she explains.

Joining the Amazon programme has had an immediate impact on Kirsty's mind set. “I try to apply what I learn in my everyday work. I ask myself: ‘If I were a team lead, how would I handle this?’. It has changed my way of looking at things.”

“I love the interactive approach: we spend time in the classroom, then on the floor to identify improvement areas in our processes, and finally we work on group projects as a team. For me, this is the best way to learn.”

Meanwhile, Kirsty has found her true calling in the Health and Safety department. She has taken on a Safety Coordinator role and she has been given the opportunity to transition to a new Safety, Health and Environment Technician apprenticeship scheme at Amazon.

“This will help me become a Safety Specialist, the next step in my career path. In short, I’m doing something that will help me further my career. What’s not to love?” she adds.

Pursuing a dream career in engineering

Amazon women apprentices

Growing up, Nicola Elliott dreamed of becoming an engineer.

“I have always been interested in technology, I liked fixing things,” she says.

However, at first Nicola chose not to pursue her passion.

“I didn’t think it was possible. I had never met a fully qualified female engineer in my life. In the end, I started studying to become a nurse,” she recalls.

After a few months, however, illness forced her to take a break and reassess her options.

“I told myself: if I have to get sick doing something that doesn’t engage me, I might as well try and do something I really like.”

Searching for alternatives, she found Amazon’s Automation Engineering Degree apprenticeship on a website dedicated to women in engineering. It was a chance to fulfill her dream.

Nicola is working the Amazon fulfillment centre (FC) in Bolton. Her four-year scheme offers a mixed approach of classroom training and on-the-field practice, which leads to the achievement of an engineering degree alongside many academic and vocational qualifications.

“I spent my first year studying full-time in Manchester. Courses, accommodation, travel – everything was paid for by Amazon,” she explains.

“In my second year, I get to work in the FC, putting into practice everything I have learnt so far. My typical day includes shadowing other automation engineers and doing research for my own projects. Our role is to design and implement automated systems to help deliver customer orders in a faster and better way: the scale of the operations is something that never ceases to surprise me!”

At the end of her apprenticeship, Nicola’s wants to apply for a permanent position at Amazon. She wouldn’t mind working abroad for a while.

“But first, I want to get my motorbike license,” she says.

She is an active promoter of Amazon's apprenticeship scheme: she hopes that her experience will encourage more girls pursue a career in engineering.

Join talented women like Kirsty and Nicola at Amazon

At Amazon, everyone is empowered to share new ideas and to contribute their own unique special talents and abilities to the company. 

Search and apply for an amazing career with Amazon today.


Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

Share this page:

Join our women's careers community