With an aim to retrain a third of their US workforce, Amazon invests $700 Mn in a new initiative called "Upskilling 2025”.
The initiative has been launched to skill and empower employees to face the rising digital disruption.
Preparing themselves for the future, employees can voluntarily enroll themselves in technical training programs across healthcare, manufacturing, computer science, robotics, cloud computing, and machine learning. The cost of these trainings will be borne by Amazon, with a few exceptions.
From highly-skilled software engineers at Amazon’s Seattle HQ to employees in non-technical roles as well as warehouse workers, there will be a training program for everyone who seeks to acquire a new skill or expertise.
For employees from a non-technical background aspiring to switch to a technical role, there will be a 90-day certified program in AWS Training & Certification and Cloud; Warehouse workers who wish to, can enroll in trainings to acquire the required knowledge and skills of an IT Technician; Software engineers can sign up for instructor-led classes at Amazon Technical Academy, which will also be supported by a job placement program. Such will be the diversity of the training programs.
Highlighting the importance of this initiative in the face of digital disruption, Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s Worldwide consumer CEO, “We think we have the responsibility to help them acquire the skills that are going to be necessary as the world changes.”
Machine Learning University (MLU) is another initiative focused on building tech expertise. It will be a six-week on-site training program with inputs from over 400 in-house ML scientists.
In an endeavor to skill more job aspirants, there will also be an increase in the seats offered under the existing “Amazon Apprenticeship” initiative, where the company offers paid classroom training and on-the-job apprenticeships.
The training programs have been designed to meet individual aspirations in the digital age and help them develop new skills to stay relevant in the coming times. After acquiring the desired skills, employees might look for opportunities outside the organization as well.
“We think it’s important to invest in our employees and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves,” said Beth Galetti, Senior VP of HR, Amazon.
While the global employee strength of Amazon is nearly 6,30,000, the current plan will cater to 1,00,000 employees and specific to the US. With the rise in skilling needs globally, it will be interesting to see how soon will the plan extend to the global workforce.