Amazon gives workers the opportunity to train as truck drivers, including Coventry and Rugby staff

Amazon is giving its employees the opportunity to train as truck drivers, including staff at its huge reception center in Coventry and its giant liquor warehouse in Rugby.

More than 400 Amazon employees are currently in training for new careers as truck drivers, it has been revealed, with the first newly qualified drivers expected to be available for work in the UK later this month.

The company said heavy truck driver training has become the most popular course in Amazon’s Career Choice program, which is designed to develop employees who want to pursue a future at Amazon or elsewhere.

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As of May, more than 400 employees of Amazon’s network of distribution centers, sorting centers and delivery stations have started their company-funded truck driver training.

The former will be available for work later this month, helping fill a shortage of drivers in the transportation industry.

One of the Amazon employees currently participating is Ben Grace.

Ben, 23, is a member of the front desk team at Amazon Rugby’s fulfillment center, which deals exclusively with alcohol.

Amazon’s new beer, wine and spirits distribution center at Rugby Gateway.

He’s only a few weeks away from his heavyweight class but is already enjoying the experience.

“It’s a really good course which should take around three months,” said Ben – who is from Rugby and joined Amazon two years ago.

“I’ve always thought of trying out heavy truck driving and Career Choice is a great option and I encourage anyone to apply for something they’re interested in.”

Ben said joining Amazon was “a great decision” and added, “What other company offers something like Career Choice?”

While Ben is yet to know where his new skills will take him, he is focused on making his training a success.

He said: “I took my driving test for the first time five years ago, so I hope for a repeat this time.”

Career Choice is a program that provides funding for adult education, offering to prepay 95% of tuition and associated fees for nationally recognized courses – up to £ 8,000 over four years.

The courses available range from accounting to heavy truck drivers and software developers, and are designed to help employees continue their careers at Amazon or elsewhere.

The Amazon reception center in Coventry
The Amazon reception center in Coventry.

Amazon Vice President of UK Operations Jonathan Gal said: “We are delighted to be able to help more than 400 of our employees achieve their ambition to become truck drivers through our Career Choice program and to play a role in improving the transportation industry.

“We are proud of the frontline roles we offer on Amazon, and we also know that they will be a stepping stone for some in their professional journey.

“For people whose ambitions are outside our company, we are happy to support them by paying for training and academic courses that can support their ambitions. “

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