Amazon is looking to upskill 100,000 of its employees across the United States -- that’s almost a third of its workforce. The retail giant will invest over 700 million US dollars in trainings to enable people from all backgrounds, working in its corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retail stores and transportation network, to move into more highly skilled roles within or outside Amazon. The program will last five years.
“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”, explained Beth Galetti, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, in a statement. “We think it’s important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves”.
Training programs include Amazon Technical Academy, which equips non-technical employees with essential skills to transition into software engineering careers; Associate2Tech, which will train fulfillment center employees to move into technical roles; Machine Learning University, which will provide machine learning skills to employees with technical backgrounds; Amazon Career Choice, a pre-paid tuition program aimed at fulfillment center employees in high-end occupations of their choice; Amazon Apprenticeship, a program offering classroom training and on-the-job apprenticeships at Amazon; and AWS Training and Certification, which will help employees with AWS Cloud knowledge.
Amazon added that a review of its workforce and the US job market revealed the fastest growing highly skilled jobs over the last five years include data mapping specialist, data scientist, solutions architect, business analyst, logistics coordinator, process improvement manager and transportation specialist.
The news comes days after employees of an Amazon warehouse in Minnesota announced a six-hour strike during Amazon Prime Day, the retailer’s annual sales event, to demand better working conditions.
Amazon came under fire last year after a report by nonprofit organization New Food Economy revealed the e-tailer was one of the American companies with the most employees receiving SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps. The outcry led Amazon to raise its minimum wage in the US to 15 US dollars an hour in October 2018.
The retail giant has over 630,000 employees worldwide. In the United States, it is set to reach 300,000 employees by the end of the year.
Picture: Amazon newsroom