A County Durham apprentice has helped celebrate 10 years of Amazon's successful apprenticeship programme.

Taylor Dockerty, from Newton Aycliffe, helped mark the anniversary of Amazon's apprenticeship programme by sharing his story to help inspire Darlington's young people.

Mr Dockerty works as an an IT Support Technician at the Amazon Fulfilment Centre in Darlington, and is currently studying an ICT AWS Support Technician degree through the Amazon Apprenticeship programme.

He is one of the 1,600 apprentices currently taking part in the Amazon Apprenticeship programme, with 5,000 apprenticeships having been offered in the UK in the last 10 years. 

Read more: For sale sign after Harlands Shoe Repairs in Norton closes

The Northern Echo:

He said: "At Amazon, there are limitless opportunities for growth and development, and you are surrounded by a team of people who are invested in helping you along the way.” 

“If you are keen to keep learning and challenging yourself, then definitely get involved in this apprenticeship programme.

"You are guaranteed to develop your skills in whatever field you’re interested in, with complete support from your team and management.”

After pursuing a career in finance and having completed an English degree, Mr Dockerty found his way to IT through a long-time interest in the industry.

Read more: Restaurant Jord in Bishop Auckland hits £35,000 goal

Before this, he had received a qualification in web development when he came across the apprenticeship opportunity at Amazon and was urged by his partner to apply. 

The audience included Amazon employees and apprentices, alongside 200 members of Apprentice Nation, the career development platform, that uses the power of music to inspire 16-25-year olds to shape their future. 

After launching in 2013, Amazon offered one apprenticeship scheme in engineering - and had only six apprentices.

Five are still employees of the business today and are engineers in fulfilment centres in Dunfermline, Rugeley and Swansea.

This year, Amazon has offered hundreds of full-time apprenticeship roles across the UK starting at entry level and including around 250 degree-level apprenticeships in over 30 different schemes ranging from engineering to broadcast production, warehouse team leaders to buying and merchandising.  

The company said the majority (85%) of employees who completed their apprenticeships have gone on to build successful careers at Amazon and currently 79% remain working with the company today.

Amazon also launched new apprenticeship programmes for 2023 including cyber security and information communications technicians.

The Northern Echo:

Double-platinum-selling singer Cat Burns, who performed at the event, said: “It’s been amazing to support young people with Apprentice Nation and celebrate ten years of Amazon apprenticeships in this incredible robotics fulfilment centre with such an inspiring group of people.

"So much of my own journey has been about ‘learning on the job’ and I know how valuable it is to have relatable mentors to offer support along the way.

"This event has shown just how powerful the combination of music and mentorship can be.” 

Read next:

Get more from The Northern Echo with a £1 for 1 month Premium Plus subscription. Click here.

Amazon’s UK country manager, John Boumphrey, said: “We are exceptionally proud to be celebrating 10 years of our apprenticeship programme, providing opportunities for upskilling and retraining for people of all ages, at all stages of their careers. 

"Apprenticeships are key to equipping people with the skills they need to progress in today’s labour market, and we now offer one of the broadest and largest apprenticeship programmes in the UK.

"From young people entering the workplace for the first time to older people looking to take their skills and careers in a new direction, our apprenticeship schemes illustrate that, at Amazon, there are opportunities for everyone.”