Amazon plans new $700 million retraining program for 100,000 USA workers

Amazon plans new $700 million retraining program for 100,000 USA workers

In one of the biggest corporate retraining initiatives to date, Amazon plans to retrain one-third of its USA workforce.

The company announced the plan in a news release Thursday saying the training program will help staffers "move into more highly skilled roles within or outside Amazon".

"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 USA in the past year alone", Amazon SVP Beth Galetti said in a statement.

The upskilling pledge also expands the AmazonCareer Choice program, a free tuition offering for fulfillment center staff to get training for high-demand jobs, and the AWS Training and Certification course, which allows employees to get certified in Amazon Web Services cloud technology - an asset for future technical positions.

"The challenge is not just adapting to new technologies, but adapting to the dynamism of the economy, which will only accelerate", said Jason Tyszko, vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in the Amazon statement.

Amazon, using its own employment data, said its fastest growing skilled job positions over the last five years include data mapping, data science, security engineering and business analysis. "While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations".

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The new program, called Upskilling 2025, encompasses a range of new and expanded training programs.

"This is an excellent move for Amazon, which has recently come under fire by politicians and activists about substandard working conditions and its role in the underemployment of thousands", said Stewart. We think it's important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves.

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

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.

In the meantime, Amazon still relies on thousands of employees to quickly package orders and ship them out. The company said in October that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for USA employees.

Amazon said there are now more job openings - 7.4 million - than there are unemployed Americans - 6 million - citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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