A UK Armed Forces veteran who works at Amazon’s delivery station in Hemel Hempstead is encouraging fellow ex-services personnel to apply for the wide range of recruitment opportunities currently available through the Amazon Military Programme.
The Amazon Military Programme, which launched in the UK in 2011, offers veterans the opportunity to pursue exciting post-military careers. The programme saw Amazon named Employer of the Year at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards this summer. Amazon also won the award in 2020.
Amazon is also a signee of the Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant, originally introduced in 2011, has a focus on helping the Armed Forces community to access the same support from government and commercial services as the public. Amazon first signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2013 and renewed its commitment earlier this year to endeavour to uphold its key principles and to demonstrate its commitment to serving personnel, reservists, veterans and families.
Helen Hobson (36) is one of the hundreds of former servicemen and women currently working in roles at Amazon buildings around the UK.
Helen and her fellow veterans apply their transferable skills, knowledge and leadership abilities gained in the military to a wide variety of careers across the UK.
Since joining Amazon, Helen has taken on several different roles based at the delivery station in Hemel Hempstead.
She is now encouraging fellow veterans to attend Amazon Military Programme events that take place throughout the UK.
Helen would also encourage the military community to subscribe to the military talent pool. Individuals can upload their CV into the talent pool from where recruiters actively source candidates. amazon-emea-military.splashthat.com
Speaking on her post-military career at Amazon, Helen said: ‘My journey began at the University of Bristol, where I did a degree in politics. While I was doing my degree, I joined the University of Bristol Royal Naval Unit. I was keen to do something fun that would also look good on my CV, and I ended up becoming the senior student in the unit during my final year.
‘When I graduated, I didn’t really want to go straight to a desk job, so I applied to join the Royal Navy as a Logistics Officer. I was accepted and went to Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. A year later, I started serving in different warships in logistics roles, which involved making sure the Ship and everyone on it had everything they needed.
‘I was involved in operations, including one in Libya, where I was part of a team that helped resupply ships so they could stay at sea for longer. During this time, I won the Logistics Officer of the Year Award at the Navy, which was really cool.
‘I then joined Navy Command Headquarters in Portsmouth. Around a year later, I got married and had my first child, so I applied to leave the Navy so I could focus on being a mum. I took three and a half years out to look after my children we welcomed our second child to our family.
‘When my kids were a little older, I joined the RAF as a full-time reservist. In this role, I got to meet the Queen, which isn’t something you do every day! It was also during this time where I received a commendation in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for work I’d done to support military spouses.
‘After finishing my role with the RAF, I wanted to do something different and started looking for a part-time job that would still offer me a great career trajectory. As a mum, I found it hard to get back into work because most part-time positions don’t offer many progression opportunities. I was encouraged to attend an event at Amazon’s headquarters in London for veterans and went along to get some free advice.
‘At the event, I was given a mock interview by someone from Amazon Logistics. I got some really nice feedback and was asked to consider applying for a role at an Amazon delivery station. I was surprised because in the military, you’re not sure how your skills can work in a business role but as the process went on, it became clear to me that both careers require similar skillsets.
‘It wasn’t long after that I joined the team at the Amazon delivery station in Hemel Hempstead and I haven’t looked back. From helping deliver packages to customers who were isolating during the pandemic to setting up charity partnerships with Rennie Grove Hospice and Together For Short Lives, I’ve loved my time working with Amazon because of the variety and the opportunities that are available to progress. There’s also lots of mentorship and camaraderie, like the military, alongside a big focus on leadership and teamwork skills.
‘I’d highly recommend a career at Amazon for ex-military personnel. You are valued, you are listened to, and you have the freedom to really make an impact. The sky is the limit here.’
Emma Morgan, Programme Manager, Amazon Global Military Programme, added: ‘Amazon is committed to supporting those who have served their country in the Armed Forces and we’re exceptionally proud to have Helen on our team. We’re passionate about offering an exciting range of roles for people looking for a career after leaving the military. I’d encourage anyone who has recently left the Armed Forces to attend some of our Amazon Military Programme events to see the breadth of opportunities available to them with us.’
Employer of the Year at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards
Amazon was recently awarded the Employer of the Year Award for the second year running for their outstanding efforts in supporting ex-services personnel and military spouses. The ‘Military Pathways’ programme stood out as impressive in committing to supporting and developing ex-forces leadership talents across the organisation.
The Ex-Forces in Business Awards is the world’s largest celebration of military veterans in second careers. The awards are dedicated to providing a much-needed platform for uncovering and showcasing the business achievements of ex-military, presenting them as role models to service leavers, and recognising the employers that support current and former members of the British Armed Forces.
UK Consumer Military Internship
One of the opportunities available to the ex-forces community is the Amazon UK Consumer Military Internship, which launched this year for the first time.
It offers a path directly into corporate roles in e-commerce for those transitioning from the Armed Forces. Those on the programme are supported throughout their transition to the corporate world, including a military mentor who already works at Amazon, tailored support from line management and an on boarding buddy.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced plans to create more than 10,000 new permanent jobs in 2021, taking its total UK workforce to more than 55,000 people by the end of the year. It is also investing £10 million over three years to train up to 5,000 employees in new skills and support the Government’s investment programme. This training will be offered through Amazon’s Career Choice programme, where the company pays course fees for its employees who have expressed an interest in pursuing a career outside of the company – something that will boost the skills and employability of British workers.
For existing Amazon employees who see their long-term future outside of Amazon, the Career Choice programme provides funding for adult education, offering to pre-pay 95% of tuition and associated fees for nationally recognised courses, up to £8,000 over four years. Courses available range from accountancy to HGV drivers and software developers, and are designed to help employees pursue careers outside of Amazon if they choose to do that.
More information on upcoming events and current job opportunities can be found here: www.amazon.jobs/en-gb/military.