Amazon and the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce teamed for an event aimed at plugging the East Midlands skills gap and upskilling the retail giant’s workforce.
Business leaders from across the region had the opportunity to learn more about Amazon’s Career Choice programme at the event hosted at the online giant’s Kegworth fulfilment centre, near Loughborough.
It was part of a £10 million project announce by Amazon UK last year to help up to 5,000 employees get new skills.
The training is provided through Amazon’s Career Choice programme, where the company pays course fees for workers who want to pursue a career elsewhere in Amazon – or even outside the company.
It covers 95 per cent of tuition and related fees for nationally recognised courses, up to £8,000 over a period of four years.
Courses available range from accountancy to HGV drivers and software developers.
The Kegworth event provided businesses with the opportunity to learn about Career Choice, meet some of the programme’s training providers and network with Amazon employees who are either taking part in the programme or are due to take part in the future.
North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen said: “Amazon Career Choice is an innovative programme that offers fantastic benefits for the business community here in the East Midlands and across the UK.
“This initiative will open up a wide range of opportunities for even more workers, helping to develop the skills needed to power this region’s economy.”
East Midlands Chamber chief executive Scott Knowles said: “Our members have long said there are skills shortages hindering productivity and growth, with the latest research from our Quarterly Economic Survey showing that while 63 per cent of East Midlands businesses attempted to recruit in the first quarter of the year, four in five of these reported difficulties.
“This is a great initiative from Amazon to plug this skills gap within the region’s business community and provide a boost for the economy.
“We’re delighted to have been the first chamber to host one of these regional events, bringing benefit to our members and to the wider East Midlands community.
Celia Syme, general manager at Amazon in Kegworth, said: “Amazon is a proud member of the business community in the East Midlands and this event underlines our commitment to the region.
“We’ve enjoyed welcoming local businesses to our fulfilment centre where they have been able to meet our team members – and promote their own businesses – and I hope many of them will take advantage of our Career Choice programme in the weeks and months to follow.”