A local area manager who started his career as seasonal worker is hoping to inspire others to engage in lifelong learning during Learning at Work Week 2022.
Mohammed Hassan from Swindon works at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Swindon and says he has risen through the ranks from his first role with the company, as a seasonal worker.
Hassan is telling his story during Learning at Work Week (which runs from 16 - 22 May) - an annual programme run by the charity Campaign for Learning.
The charity works with organisations around the UK to help create activities and fun challenges in the workplace to help employees learn and grow.
The theme of Learning at Work Week 2022 is Learning Uncovered, and aims to focus on deepening society’s understanding, knowledge, and engagement in lifelong and continual learning.
Hassan, who has worked for Amazon for seven years, has used the company’s development and training opportunities to progress, and now works as area manager.
Hassan’s Amazon journey so far has taken him to three of the company’s UK fulfilment centres. His career with Amazon began at the fulfilment centre in Milton Keynes, followed by a period spent at the fulfilment centre in Bristol when the site launched in 2019.
He then joined the team in Swindon in late 2021, assisting with the interviewing and hiring of team leads prior to the launch of the new site.
Following his graduation from University College London in 2010, Hassan said he struggled to find permanent employment as the fallout from the recession loomed large. He jumped from job to job for a few years, joining an employment agency in 2014, which led him to Amazon as seasonal worker at Christmas.
Today, Hassan is proud to say this temporary role led to a permanent contract with Amazon. From there, Hassan has progressed through the ranks to his current role as area manager in the fulfilment centre in Swindon. He said he used the Amazon Career Choice programme to aid his career progression.
Speaking on Amazon’s Career Choice programme, Hassan said: “As part of the programme, I took part in a course called Career Skills Sessions. I had CV sessions, mock interviews, and advice with job applications. I then had team lead training and soft skills training. This really helped me to learn, grow and develop into the role I hold today.”
Hassan said his favourite part of his job role is 'helping others develop.'
He added: “Having started at the entry level for the company myself, I remember the leaders and mentors who saw potential in me. They helped me to develop, and today I am passionate about passing that on and helping others to do the same.”
Hassan has recently been training to become an operations manager on the outbound night shift in Swindon. He hopes to further develop and sharpen his skills to one day call the role his own.
Also based at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Swindon are Lucian Toader and Steven Wait. Both Lucian and Steven currently work as team leads. Lucian has worked for the company for five years and Steven for three.
Lucian moved to the UK from Romania in 2015, and joined Amazon in 2017. His journey with the company began in the company’s fulfilment centre in Daventry.
When Amazon opened a fulfilment centre in Bristol in 2019, Lucian jumped at the chance to join the team. In 2021, an opportunity arose within the company’s new fulfilment centre in Swindon, with Lucian offered the role of team lead, which he welcomed with open arms.
Lucian said he has received much support from his area manager, Hassan, and praises his keen and enthusiastic involvement in his progression. Lucian has been inspired by Hassan to follow in his footsteps one day and encourage the talent of tomorrow. He says he hopes to further develop himself personally and professionally to ensure he’s ready to take on his next challenge.
Steven joined Amazon in 2019 when he left school and is said to have already achieved many great things at the company. His journey began in 2019, working in the inbound team on a fixed-term contract at the fulfilment centre in Bristol. He then returned just before the pandemic hit in early 2020, as a packer.
The Swindon Amazon team said when Steven’s area manager Hassan spotted potential in him, he worked to build Steven’s skill set across various roles through a combination of training programmes and coaching. Steven and Hassan moved to the fulfilment centre in Swindon together following the site’s launch in November 2021, where a new opportunity lay ahead for Steven.
Steven was drawn to apply for a role at Amazon as he had a keen interest in working in a warehouse environment, praising his leaders for sharing their life experiences with him and assisting him to grow both personally and professionally since taking the leap to join Amazon directly from school.
Today, Steven is proud to say the support, encouragement and training he received has helped him to get promoted to his current role as team lead at the Swindon fulfilment centre. Speaking on his role, he says he enjoys engaging with people across the business, and loves 'working with people from all walks of life.'
A career highlight to date for Steven is being part of the launch of the Swindon fulfilment centre.
He said: “It was great to see how warehouses are built and launched, and what the whole process is like. It has been a great experience for me.”
Steven has used the Amazon Career Choice programme to aid his career progression. He is currently taking part in a course aimed at developing team leads in preparation to apply for a step-up area manager position.
Through programmes like Amazon Career Choice, Steven hopes to gain the knowledge and qualifications to progress to a step-up area manager position, before one day taking on the role of operations manager.
Amazon Swindon General Manager, David Tindal, added: “We are extremely proud of Hassan, Lucian and Steven for how they have risen through the ranks since joining Amazon. They are valued members of the team here at Amazon in Swindon and we hope that their story will inspire others to enrich their own careers through the wide variety of development programmes available to them.
"Hassan, Lucian and Steven model the benefits of committing to lifelong learning and we are excited to see them progress even further with us.”
Amazon says its employees receive competitive pay and comprehensive benefits. Pay starts at £10 or £11.10 per hour depending on location and employees are offered a comprehensive benefits package, including private medical insurance, life assurance, income protection and an employee discount – which combined are said to be worth more than £700 annually – as well as a company pension plan.
Amazon says it offers its employees Career Choice, an innovative programme which pre-pays 95% of tuition for courses in high-demand fields, up to £8,000 over four years, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.
Amazon also provides opportunities to improve existing skills or learn new ones through internal career progression opportunities such as cross-training, transferring to a different department and promotion into a managerial role.
The business is investing £10 million over three years in training up to 5,000 employees in new skills to meet the UK’s future employment needs outside of Amazon. Amazon is also partnering with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and local businesses on the programme to identify regional skills shortages and focus training on local demand.
Those wishing to find out more about beginning a career with Amazon can visit https://www.jobsatamazon.co.uk/#/