Corporations are running out of talent — and reskilling programs are stepping in

Corporations are running short on digital talent… so they are rolling in-house academies and subsidizing education programs to fill the gap.


May 18, 2021

You know labor markets are tight when companies start bumping minimum wages.

And there’s been a string of announcements in recent weeks:

  • McDonald’s wants to add 10k workers over the next 3 months and is boosting corporate-owned wages by 10%
  • Chipotle wants to add 20k workers and is increasing average hourly wages to $15 by June
  • Amazon needs 75k new logistics employees and is offering an average starting wage of $17 (and up to $1k signing bonus)

Separately, Uber reports that the median hourly wage for its drivers in several major cities has topped $30.

The improved offers are only for entry-level roles, though

Per The Wall Street Journal, retailers across America are facing shortages of digital skills (e.g., data analysis, engineers).

Finding talent is hard enough, so many companies are looking to reskill internally.

The move makes economic sense: McKinsey, a consultancy, estimates that replacing an employee costs 20%-30% of the annual salary, while retraining an existing employee costs <10% of their annual pay.

Reskilling can take many forms:

  • Walmart partnered with Guild Education to offer employees the chance to earn a high school or college degree for $1 a day
  • Levi’s created a boot camp that teaches stats, coding, and machine-learning skills (applicants are chosen in a 3-month interview process)
  • Verizon plans to retrain 100k retail employees with technical know-how for its 5G rollout

With 342k more retail job openings in March (vs. last year) — the 2nd-highest figure over the past decade — expect more pay bumps and reskilling news to come.

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