Amazon, the e-commerce company, plans to spend $700 million on retraining a third of its workforce in the US in new skills required to survive and excel in the changing economy.
The Company has been using robots to help smoothen the sorting and delivery processes. It will now focus on retraining about a lakh employees in the next six years, so that they are able to handle jobs that require better/higher skills within the company or even embrace new careers elsewhere.
The training programme will help the workers in the fulfilment centres to shift to roles that require technical skills, even if they have no prior experience in information technology (IT). Workers with no technical knowledge will get a chance to learn the skills required to shift into software engineering careers. The Company plans to offer prepaid tuition to train workers in the fulfilment centres to handle high-demand occupations that they choose to opt for, whether within Amazon or outside, including that of data-mapping specialists, data scientists, solutions architects and business analysts.
By offering opportunities to the employees to keep up with the digitisation wave, Amazon will prove that its working conditions are enviable. Last year, it had hiked the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Also, the Company’s workforce in the US will have a strength of about 300,000 by the end of this year.
As part of this Upskilling 2025 programme, a machine learning university will also be launched to benefit thousands of workers. This will be extremely useful to those who possess a technology background and knowledge of coding and wish to learn machine learning.
According to the Growing Career Choice programme, Amazon will bear 95 per cent of the tuition and fees towards a certificate or diploma course.