Amazon announced it will spend $700 million over the next six years to help retrain a third of its United States workforce to adapt to an economy increasingly disrupted by automation and new technology.
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. Associate2Tech is designed for fulfillment center workers to move to a variety of IT roles.
The idea is to help Amazon employees progress into more advanced jobs or even new positions outside of the company.
Another retraining program will help company workers learn the necessary skills for a high-demand occupation of their choice.
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. After reviewing the company's jobs and hiring data from the US workforce, Amazon said that fast-growing, highly skilled jobs over the last five years at the company include data-mapping specialist, data scientist, solutions architect and business analyst. "While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations". Helping employees adjust to the digital transformation of the economy also could assuage labor groups and lawmakers such as Senator Bernie Sanders who say Amazon needs to improve working conditions for its employees.
Amazon's "upskilling" plans includes six programs, which will be available to employees at any Amazon location.
AWS Training and Certification: to hone cloud skills. Amazon said the training is voluntary and most of the programs were free for staffers.
It's meant to help a whole third of Amazon's current U.S. workforce of roughly 300,000 people transition into higher skilled and higher demand positions, including data mapping specialists, data scientists, business analysts and security engineers.
Many unions typically don't see these benefits as enough and claim these employees need better protections from being fired or overworked. The company did implement a $15-an-hour minimum wage previous year, yet labor grievances have endured.
There are now more job openings in the country - 7.4 million - than there are unemployed Americans - 6 million - Amazon said, citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.