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Amazon Will Spend $700 Million Retrain 100,000 Employees

11 July 2019

The menu of training options was based on a review of the company's jobs and analysis of hiring data from its US workforce.

The e-commerce giant, which is increasingly using robots to help sort and deliver packages, said it will retrain 100,000 workers by 2025 to allow employees move into more highly skilled jobs within the company or find new careers outside of Amazon, according to a statement Thursday. "Amazon is no exception", the company said in the announcement.

Amazon has emerged as a leader in rolling out new forms of automation and robotics in its fulfillment centers and other parts of its global operations.

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Many unions typically don't see these benefits as enough and claim these employees need better protections from being fired or overworked. However, the company has faced repeated criticism for the working conditions at its warehouses. "What we are doing right now is training employees for skills we know are in demand now for jobs that are growing".

Lawmakers, including U.S. presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have also threatened to regulate the company.

It's meant to help a whole third of Amazon's current USA 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. Last October, it raised the minimum wage for company workers to $15 per hour, although it also phased out an incentive pay component.

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"While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations", Beth Galetti, Amazon's senior vice president of human resources, said in a statement.

Today's $700 million investment might also act as recruitment tool for the company.

Career Choice, a tuition program for fulfillment center workers, will be expanded, as will Amazon Apprenticeship, a classroom training and on-the-job apprenticeship at Amazon. After reviewing internal employment and hiring data, it found the fast-growing, highly skilled jobs included data-mapping specialists, data scientists, solutions architects and business analysts. The training also helps Amazon retain workers.

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Under the pledge, Amazon ($AMZN) employees will have access to several training programs, including the new Amazon Technical Academy and Associate2Tech. "We are starting (the retraining programs) in the United States, but this is a long-term commitment and just the beginning", an Amazon spokesperson told PCMag.

Amazon Will Spend $700 Million Retrain 100,000 Employees