Amazon said on 11 July that it would “upskill” 100,000 of its employees across the United States by 2025, spending US$700 million to provide access to training programs that “will help them move into more highly skilled roles within or outside of Amazon”.
The company – which has been previously criticised for its treatment of workers and working conditions – said that the programs will “serve employees from all backgrounds and Amazon locations”, including its corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfilment centres, retail stores and transportation network.
Amazon expects the programs to reach 300,000 employees in the US this year. They include the Amazon Technical Academy – which will look to equip “non-technical Amazon employees with the essential skills to transition into, and thrive in, software engineering” – and Associate2Tech – which trains “fulfilment associates” to move into technical roles “regardless of their previous IT experience”.
The Machine Learning University will offer employees with technical backgrounds an opportunity to access machine learning skills through an on-site training program, while Amazon Apprenticeship will offer “paid intensive classroom training and on-the -job apprenticeships” with Amazon itself.
According to the company, a review of the company’s jobs and analysis of hiring data from its US workforce found that Amazon’s fastest growing highly skilled jobs over the last five years were data mapping specialist (832% growth), data scientist (505%), solutions architect (454%), security engineer (229%) and business analyst (160%).
“Within customer fulfilment, highly skilled roles have increased over 400%, including jobs like logistics coordinator, process improvement manager and transportation specialist within our customer fulfilment network,” the company said.
“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 US in the past year alone,” Beth Galetti, Senior VP of HR at Amazon, said in a statement. “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,” she added. “With this pledge, we’re committing to support 100,000 Amazonians in getting the skills to make the next step in their careers.”
“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,” Jason Tyszko, Vice President at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, added.
“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,” he said.