CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
December 14, 2019
Forward Thinking

Amazon to invest in "upskill" training

Online retailer to invest $700 million to train employees for in-demand jobs across the organization, including at its fulfillment centers and in its transportation network.

Online retailer said it will invest more than $700 million in "upskill" training for 100,000 of its U.S. employees over the next six years in a program it's calling Upskill 2025. The effort will give employees access to training so they can move into highly skilled technical and non-technical roles in the company's corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retail stores, and transportation network. It will also allow them to pursue careers outside of Amazon, the company said.

The effort is another step in the company's pledge to support employees and fill in-demand jobs, company leaders said.

"Through our continued investment in local communities in more than 40 states across the country, we have created tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S. in the past year alone," Amazon's Beth Galetti, senior vice president, human resources, said in a statement announcing the program July 11. "... We think it's important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves. With this pledge, we're committing to support 100,000 Amazonians in getting the skills to make the next step in their careers."

Logistics will be a big part of the skills development program. Among its fastest-growing highly skilled jobs are logistics coordinator, process improvement manager, and transportation specialist in its customer fulfillment network, Amazon said. That's in addition to growing demand for data scientists, solutions architects, and business analysts, company leaders also said.

Amazon said it will offer a range of programs across various disciplines, including: 

  • Amazon Technical Academy, which equips non-technical Amazon employees with the essential skills to transition into, and thrive in, software engineering careers; 
  • Associate Tech, which trains fulfillment center associates to move into technical roles regardless of their previous IT experience; 
  • Machine Learning University, offering employees with technical backgrounds the opportunity to access machine learning skills via an on-site training program; 
  • Amazon Career Choice, a pre-paid tuition program designed to train fulfillment center associates in high-demand occupations of their choice; 
  • Amazon Apprenticeship, a Department of Labor certified program that offers paid intensive classroom training and on-the-job apprenticeships with Amazon; and 
  • AWS Training and Certification, which provide employees with courses to build practical AWS Cloud knowledge.

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