Amazon Announces Plan to Retrain One-Third of US Workforce in New Skills
Amazon.com announced yesterday that it plans to retrain one-third of its U.S. workforce in new skills to help employees advance in their careers, reports CNBC. This effort would retrain approximately 100,000 workers by 2025, and Amazon employees would volunteer to take part in the programming, most of which will be free of cost. Amazon said in a statement that these programs will help employees "move into highly skilled technical and nontechnical roles across the company’s corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retail stores, and transportation network, or pursue career paths outside of Amazon." The retraining efforts are estimated to cost $7,000 per worker, totaling roughly $700 million and making the initiative one of the largest corporate training efforts ever announced.
Total Retail's Take: Amazon has faced criticism in the past for perceived substandard working conditions for low-skilled workers, and this retraining effort may be aimed at improving the company's reputation. However, the e-commerce giant does currently offer several great employee programs, such as the Career Choice program, so it's no stranger to offering employees the opportunity to gain new skills. CNBC reports the new retraining programs will include the Amazon Technical Academy, Associate2Tech, Machine Learning University, Amazon Career Choice, Amazon Apprenticeship, and AWS Training and Certification. This is a huge commitment from Amazon to its employees, and is a great example for other retailers and organizations to follow when looking for ways to attract, develop and retain skilled workers. Considering today's tight labor market, that's becoming increasingly important for retailers.