RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity has signed a three-year agreement with Amazon Global Military Affairs as part of its enduring commitment to support the military community into employment. The diversity of programs on offer by RFEA, such as the Military Women Programme, Forces for London, Families Programme and TechVets, make this collaboration an obvious choice for Amazon and forms part of its military recruitment strategy in the UK.
Amazon has built a strong reputation as a Forces Friendly employer and recruits hundreds of veterans and military spouses into numerous roles throughout the country every year. Amazon’s commitment to supporting veterans has been recognised through the prestigious Gold Defence Employer Recognition Scheme and it is a two-time winner of Employer of the Year at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards. The company is now working with RFEA to help the charity extend its provision of specialist services.
Testament to the already strong relationship with RFEA is the recent launch of the AWS Military Technical Account Manager Program (MTAMP), which was created in consultation with TechVets. MTAMP provides a structured path for veterans to become employed in technical roles at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Ten veterans (7 of whom came through TechVets) started the six-month-long technical training program in February 2022 with a 16-week foundational cloud computing course that will be followed by on-the-job learning.
Blake Roberts joined the MTAMP after being medically discharged from the Army following a 9-year career. He says, “I become increasingly interested in cloud technology and was looking to try and get into that space, however, I lacked the necessary experience. When I found out about the MTAMP, via TechVets, I was immediately interested and excited to be able to pursue my dream career in cloud technology. I was blown away on Day 1, everyone was very welcoming and supportive, as a new starter coming from a different world, that means a lot. I am very excited about my future with AWS.”
TechVets Director, James Murphy, is a passionate advocate for veterans launching second careers in tech. He states, “Digital and tech is critical for the UK’s future prosperity and we need fantastic talented people to support the growth of the tech sector in the UK. I understand first-hand the challenges that veterans and service leavers face, but military veterans can provide a diversity of thought yet to be capitalised upon in many tech teams and they come with incredible professional skills and experience – as well as a ferocious appetite to learn new technical skills quickly. I am extremely proud that TechVets has supported this fantastic program affording our members an incredible opportunity to start their new careers in tech.”
There are currently roles available at Amazon and AWS in careers as diverse as Operations, Health and Safety, AWS Cloud, Finance, Corporate Security, Commercial Sales, HR and Engineering as well as dedicated apprenticeship programs, and internships. All roles and career opportunities can be found on www.amazon.jobs and the company can be found at Career Transition Partnership Career Fairs.
RFEA provides life-long, life-changing support, job opportunities, and training to service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families, irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service, or reason for leaving.
Last year RFEA supported 21,698 ex-Forces personnel and their families, creating 97,826 job opportunities.
RFEA’s programmes include:
- Military Women Programme – Led by a female veteran, this programme aims to increase the engagement of women in the veterans’ community and help them equip themselves with job-seeking skills and knowledge and access Forces-friendly employers. This is in response to research which shows female veterans face more barriers to civilian employment than their male counterparts.
- Families Programme – Military partners and spouses experience a unique set of challenges when seeking employment, from frequent moves to remote locations away from support networks. This programme is led by a team of military spouses who understand the unique challenges of this client group and work extensively to help them achieve their short and long-term career goals.
- Project Nova – Whilst most veterans transition from a military career to a civilian role, a small number find it more difficult, which can occasionally spiral into offending. Project Nova, delivered in partnership between RFEA and Walking With The Wounded, supports veterans who have entered or are at risk of entering, the Criminal Justice System.
- Forces for London – This programme is dedicated to helping ex-Servicemen and women living in the Capital and offers one-to-one advice and guidance with a dedicated advisor, plus volunteering, mentoring and work experience opportunities with employers in London who value the skills and attributes of ex-military. It also offers training to help job seekers gain valuable skills.
Gillian Russell, Principal Program Manager for Amazon Global Military Affairs and former Royal Navy Logistics Officer, says: “At Amazon, we fully appreciate the value that ex-military bring to the workforce and we have a dedicated team focused on bringing veterans into the business. We also recognise the exceptional work that RFEA does to support anyone who has served, regardless of rank or length of service, as well as their partners and spouses, to find meaningful employment in the civilian world. We are delighted to be helping RFEA to continue to provide specialist services for members of the military community who may need additional support. We look forward to seeing the impact this will have.”
Alistair Halliday, CEO of RFEA, says: “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic saw a huge shift in the employment market and with that came an increase in the needs of our clients. It is because of the generous support of companies, like Amazon, who appreciate the value of employing veterans and their loved ones, that we have been able to not only continue to offer our vital services but expand many of our programmes. We are incredibly grateful to Amazon for its generosity. Thanks to this support, we can continue to help everyone who needs us, ensuring they are on the road to employment and able to reach their goals.”