Johannes Eisele / AFP / Getty Images
Amazon employees who fill boxes in warehouses could be the next engineers in the industry.
The company announced Thursday that it would spend more than $ 700 million to train 100,000 employees in highly skilled jobs over the next six years.
These training programs will be offered to workers at all levels of the business, not just those in the warehouses. Participants can choose from several programs, ranging from skills acquisition for other jobs at Amazon to obtaining certifications that can be used outside the company.
This initiative is just the latest in a series of efforts by major retailers to court and retain workers in one of the smallest labor markets in history. For example, Walmart announced last month a new program that will cover the college's test preparation for its high school employees.
Amazon will pay employees who attend the company's Machine Learning University or acquire skills in software development through its Amazon Technical Academy. Employees can also participate in internships and obtain Amazon Web Services certification at a reduced price.
Some benefits apply only to certain employees. Amazon agrees to pay up to 95% of tuition fees for distribution center workers who wish to obtain a certificate or diploma in a field in high demand.
Last year, Amazon increased its minimum wage to $ 15 and rolled out more employee benefits, such as 20 weeks of paid paternity leave. Although the company has been offering training for some time in the aforementioned areas, Ardine Williams, vice president of Amazon's workforce development, said she was investing more in these programs. to make Amazon even more attractive to its current collaborators and people looking for a job. .
"We have the opportunity to create excellent job opportunities, and these skills and experiences create new career options and career opportunities for employees," Williams said.
Amazon had to deal with problems of working conditions. Next week, about 100 Minnesota employees plan to retire on Prime Day, one of the company's most important sales events, to demand better working conditions.
Many of the low-skilled warehouse jobs currently offered by Amazon are expected to be replaced by machines in the coming years. When machines enter the labor market, new jobs are created to maintain and develop them. One of the reasons employers train advanced technology employees is to fill these new jobs.
Google has even created training resources for people outside their own staff. In 2018, the company started offering a computer certificate, among other certification programs, that everyone can earn. Anyone who completes the certificate and wishes to continue his studies in computer science can use it as a 12-hour reserve in an online degree from Northeastern University. Some community colleges have partnered with Google to offer certification in information technology.
Other companies have implemented similar training and education benefits designed to encourage the retention of employees in a tight labor market. In addition to its expanded training programs offering preparatory courses for ACT and SAT, Walmart also offers help to help workers register for university courses for one dollar a day.
Note: Amazon is one of the NPR sponsors.