Amazon upskills US workers despite risk of leaving for new careers

Amazon has made a $700m (£563m) investment in upskilling its US workforce and is prepared to risk these workers leaving to progress their careers elsewhere.

Last week, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporting the online retail giant had announced plans to retrain a third of its US workforce, with plans for around 100,000 workers be enrolled in training programmes aimed at helping employees move to more advanced positions or find new careers. 

The programmes, which are voluntary and mostly free of charge, provide workers with access to training, enabling them to move into skilled technical and non-technical roles across the company. This includes training to move non-technical employees into software engineering careers, prepaid tuition programmes that train fulfilment centre employees in high-demand occupations of their choice and numerous other training programmes.

When approached by Recruiter for further comment, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the plans, adding: “We’re doing this because the American workforce is changing, and there’s a greater need for technical skills in the workplace than ever before – and there’s a big opportunity for people with the right skills to move into better paying jobs. 

“We believe that as a leading US employer we have an important role to play here. We’re proud to provide employees with good, well-paying jobs and good benefits. We also want to be helping our employees achieve their own career interests. For some of these individuals this is [for] roles at Amazon; for others, this might be roles in other industries. We hope that employees will stay with us, but if they choose not to, we hope that we will provide them with the skills to continue to move up.”

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