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A local apprentice is celebrating becoming the first Amazon apprentice to graduate from the Amazon Health, Safety and Environment Technician Apprenticeship in the UK.


Emma Horton (31) from Cannock graduated with distinction from the fully funded Amazon apprenticeship programme to become a fully qualified Health, Safety and Environment Technician.

Emma joined Amazon in Rugeley almost seven years ago, before moving to the fulfilment centre in Kegworth in 2020 as part of the team working on the opening of the site. Emma has a background in retail and when her friend told her about jobs at Amazon, she applied for a role and has been with the company ever since.

After graduating from the Amazon Health, Safety and Environment Technician Apprenticeship, Emma is now looking forward to an exciting new chapter in her career.

She said:

“When I was younger, I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted to take, but I always had an interest in safety. During my time at Amazon, this interest grew because it truly is a safety-first company. When I learned about the new Health, Safety and Environment Technician Apprenticeship, I decided to apply because I knew it would improve my knowledge of safety while forcing me to think outside the box.”

She felt it was a great opportunity that offered a funded course that she didn’t have to do in her free time as it ran alongside her job.

“It was simply too good an opportunity to turn down. A free apprenticeship that Amazon managed around my time and offered me a qualification at the end. It was no brainer!”

Emma says that people may think that Amazon’s priority is to get boxes out the door, but what’s most important is safety.

“Safety is the company’s number one priority. The safety of the team and everyone on site is the focal point of every day, every meeting, every chat. It’s something that’s important to the company and important to me, and that’s why I’ve enjoyed the apprenticeship so much.”

During her participation in the Amazon apprenticeship programme, Emma developed the safety-related skills and knowledge she needs to contribute to Amazon’s health and safety team, gaining a solid foundation for career progression. She also received a nationally recognised qualification as a Safety, Health & Environmental technician and is now eligible to join the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment at affiliate level.

Celia Syme, Site Leader at Amazon in Kegworth, said:

“At Amazon safety is our number one priority. To achieve this, we rely on our strong, experienced and growing safety team. We are delighted to celebrate the graduation of the next generation of health and safety professionals at our fulfilment centres through our apprentice programme.” 

Amazon has invented hundreds of ways to enhance employee wellbeing and safety.  From safety harnesses to water stations, no-go-zones to protective safety vests to ensure its employees stay safe while delivering for customers.

Amazon is also creating 1,000 full-time apprenticeships in the UK in 2021. The apprenticeships cover 25 different programmes ranging from IT, safety technician and HR through to software engineering and creative digital design. Roles include 100 degree-level apprenticeships and more than 500 apprenticeships for Amazon employees, providing an opportunity to retrain and gain new skills. The roles pay a minimum of £10.80 p/h in the London area and £9.70 p/h in other parts of the UK up to £30,000 a year for degree-level apprenticeships.

The apprenticeship schemes are designed to suit candidates with a range of experience, from those with life skills to school leavers who are 18+ with GCSEs or A-levels.

Amazon provides some of the most advanced workplaces of their kind in the world, with competitive pay and a comprehensive benefits package, including private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection, and an employee discount – which combined are worth more than £700 annually – as well as a company pension plan. 

Amazon recently 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 year. It will invest £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.

Amazon employees also have great opportunities to progress their careers at the company, whether that be through improving existing skills or promotion into a managerial role. For those who see their 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.

Anyone interested in finding out more information about the Amazon apprenticeship programme can visit


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