Amazon to create 1,000 UK apprenticeships in ML and robotics

One-fifth of these will be offered to existing Amazon employees

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Amazon has revealed plans to create more than 1,000 apprenticeships in the UK over the next two years, many of which will be based in the company's machine learning  (ML) and software development units.

Nine programmes will rin across the country, lasting between 13 months and four years, designed for workers of all levels interested in entering IT, software engineering, robotics and general technology roles, as well as HR, leadership and safety.

Successful apprenticeship graduates will then have the opportunity to join Amazon's various corporate and operations sites across the UK, including centres in Edinburgh, Cambridge and London where the company develops its smart assistant technology and Prime Air drone service.

Amazon added that one-fifth of these new apprenticeships will be offered directly to its existing workforce.

"We want to give people opportunities to succeed in the digital age, regardless of their background," said Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon.

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"Our fully-funded apprenticeship programme, from entry level through to degree level, will provide an exciting path to becoming Amazon's future team leaders, engineers and innovation drivers."

Alongside the 1,000 apprenticeships, the company is also creating 90 apprenticeships designed for those studying bachelors and masters degrees over the next two years. These will be primarily focused on software development, leadership and automation, and will consist of both classroom and workplace training.

The new intake will add to over 27,500 permanent UK employees, and expand on an existing 300 apprenticeships currently in training. Amazon has said it will start accepting applications for these places in the first week of March.

It comes at a time when the UK is seeing unprecedented investment in its artificial intelligence sector, with raised capital for new ventures being larger than the rest of the EU combined. However, Amazon has bucked a trend of falling retail investment, with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) revealing last week that investment intentions were at a seven-year low.

The company announced in October that it would be adding 1,000 "highly skilled" permanent employees to its UK division, following a series of site acquisitions in areas such as Manchester and Edinburgh.

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