Amy Harris

After working in nursing from when she left school, at 30 years of age, Amy decided it was time for a change. She decided on a new career in engineering, and applied for an Amazon apprenticeship so that she could carry on working whilst she studied towards her new qualification.

Today, Amy is embarking on the second year of her Mechatronics apprenticeship in the Reliability Maintenance Engineering (RME) Team at Amazon’s Swansea Fulfilment Centre. Her favourite things about her new role are that every day is different, and that she is gaining knowledge, skills and confidence on a daily basis as her team share their experience and expertise through her on-the-job training to support her development and progression.

We talked to her about her apprenticeship journey so far…

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

I knew I wanted to retrain but at the age of 30, the idea of going back to college was a little daunting. An apprenticeship was a much better route for me to take because I liked the idea of being able to learn on the job so that I could continue to work as well as study. I find this hands-on way of learning much more effective too.

Did you have a particular career in mind when you made your decision? If so, what and why?

Because I was new to the world of engineering, I didn’t have a specific career in mind, and I struggled to choose just one field that I wanted to pursue. When I found out that Amazon offered an apprenticeship in mechatronics that would cover both mechanical and electrical engineering, I knew that I had found my niche. This pathway is ideal for me as I am developing a broader knowledge base and becoming more multi-skilled.

Did you have an idea of what an apprenticeship would involve before you came to the MTC?

After successfully applying to Amazon, I was offered a place on the apprenticeship programme. I knew that the apprenticeship would helped me to earn and learn, but I didn’t know much about the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) itself. To say I was impressed is an understatement! I was blown away when I saw the state-of-the art workshop and the subjects I would be covering, and I couldn’t wait to get started. I feel very privileged to be training at such a professional establishment.

Have there been any memorable projects/experiences from the training you received at the MTC?

I will always remember the induction week right at the very start of my apprenticeship journey. It was very interactive and a fantastic opportunity to meet the rest of our cohort, and it really set the tone for the rest of the year. Each day, we were in a different team with a new trainer, which meant we had a more intimate learning experience instead of being one big group. We did all sorts of different team exercises that were fun and brought everyone together, so it eased us into the start of the year nicely.

What would you say are the benefits of the apprenticeship programme?

I can’t recommend it enough! I feel very lucky to have been able to train at such a state of the art centre. Just as importantly, the MTC’s training team are so dedicated to the students – their support has inspired me to push myself even further.

What do you think is your biggest achievement?

I feel I made a brave decision to leave the nursing world and embark on a brand new career in which I have no prior knowledge. I’m proud that, at the age of 30, I’m forging a new path for myself.

What are your future career plans?

I am hoping to be with Amazon for the rest of my engineering career. They have a brilliant reputation for offering further training and development opportunities to their employees, and I’d like to keep learning and progressing with them long after I’ve completed my apprenticeship.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others?

I would 100% recommend it – in fact I do, all the time and to anyone who will listen!