Economy

Amazon says it is investing over $700M to upskill 100,000 employees

Amazon says it is investing over $700M to upskill 100,000 employees”

The company says it will spend the money over the next five years to "upskill" roughly 100,000 employees, about one-third of its US workforce.

The e-tail giant is pledging to "upskill" 100,000 of its employees across the U.S.by 2025, committing more than $700 million to provide workers with access to training programs that will help them move into more highly skilled roles in Amazon or in other companies.

The big picture: Amazon is making a financial commitment to prepare its US employees for a near future where everything in their workflow will be deeply disrupted by automation.

Amazon did not confirm whether it plans to roll out training to employees outside of the USA in the future.

The initiative comes as companies across industries ready themselves - and their employees - for shifting needs in the economy, which is expected to be dominated by automation and machine learning. According to Amazon's website, the retraining programs will largely be conducted virtually and via on-site classrooms.

In the tightest labor market in a half-century, Amazon is competing with other companies to hire the best and brightest and could help sidestep that challenge with a renewed emphasis on training.

Amazon found that over the past five years, its fastest-growing highly skilled jobs include data mapping specialist, data scientist, solutions architect, security engineer, and business analyst.

"As we look to fill jobs, the ones that are the most hard to fill, the ones that have the greatest career trajectory, are the ones with technical skills", Williams said. Providing an avenue for low-skilled workers to advance within the company, or outside of it, could reshape the narrative for Amazon. The company said in October that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for USA employees.

Inside an Amazon fulfillment center in Dupont, Wash.

"Through our continued investment in local communities in more than 40 states across the country, we have created tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S.in the past year alone", Beth Galetti, the senior vice president of Amazon's Human Resources department.

The program would enable employees who work in fulfillment centers to move into technical roles regardless of any previous IT experience.

The idea is to help Amazon employees progress into more advanced jobs or even new positions outside of the company.

Today's pledge is aptly called 'Upskilling 2025' and will offer non-technical workers paid-time off to study during the week at the Amazon Technical Academy if they wish to pursue software engineering careers.



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