Amazon offers tech retraining to 100,000 workers

Amazon is to offer upskilling and re-training to 100,000 employees by 2025 as the e-commerce giant adapts to increased workplace automation.

The company announced yesterday that it plans to invest $700 million in the next six years to provide re-training programs for a third of its US workforce.

It said the commitment, which will cost the company an average of $7000 per employee, would help staff move into “highly skilled” technical and non-technical roles in Amazon’s retail stores, tech hubs, fulfilment centres, transportation work or the company’s corporate offices.

The company also said the training could help staff to “pursue career paths outside of Amazon.”

The move comes after Amazon carried out a review of its 300,000- strong workforce and hiring practices in the US, with the fastest growing area for highly skilled jobs in the last five years including data mapping specialist (832 per cent growth), data scientist (505 per cent), solutions architect (454 per cent), security engineer (229 per cent) and business analyst (160 per cent).

Other high-growth roles were logistics coordinator, process improvement manager and transportation specialists.

Re-skilling programs are will include:

-Amazon Technical Academy, which equips non-technical Amazon employees with the essential skills to transition into, and thrive in, software engineering careers

- Associate2Tech, which trains fulfillment center associates to move into technical roles regardless of their previous IT experience

-Machine Learning University, offering employees with technical backgrounds the opportunity to access machine learning skills via an on-site training program

-AmazonCareer Choice, a pre-paid tuition program designed to train fulfillment center associates in high-demand occupations of their choice

-Amazon Apprenticeship, a Department of Labour certified program that offers paid intensive classroom training and on-the-job apprenticeships with Amazon

-AWS Training and Certification, which provide employees with courses to build practical AWS Cloud knowledge that is essential to operating in a technical field

Beth Galetti, senior vice president of HR at Amazon said: “For us, creating these opportunities is just the beginning. While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations.

“We think it’s important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves. With this pledge, we’re committing to support 100,000 Amazonians in getting the skills to make the next step in their careers.”

Responding to the announcement, Jason Tyszko, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation said: “The future of work is now and the challenge is not just adapting to new technologies, but adapting to the dynamism of the economy, which will only accelerate.”

He said: “Amazon is demonstrating the new role employers must play to counter that challenge, fostering a new relationship with workers where maintaining and growing their skills is an imperative for business success.”

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