Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN.O) said it will spend US$700 million to retrain about one-third of its U.S. workforce in skills needed to thrive in the new economy.
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.
The program would help employees who work in fulfillment centers to move into technical roles regardless of any previous IT experience. Employees without technical expertise could learn skills to transition into software engineering careers. Amazon would also offer pre-paid tuition to train fulfillment center associates in high-demand occupations of their choice, among other options.
“For us, creating these opportunities is just the beginning,” said Beth Galetti, senior vice president in human resources. “While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations.”
Amazon said its U.S. workforce will reach 300,000 employees this year. After reviewing the company’s jobs and hiring data from the U.S. workforce, Amazon said that fast-growing, highly skilled jobs over the last five years at the company include data-mapping specialist, data scientist, solutions architect and business analyst.
Amazon said there are now more job openings -- 7.4 million -- than there are unemployed Americans -- 6 million -- citing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.