Amazon will retrain 100k employees in a $700m attempt to brace for more automation

Amazon will spend $700m to retrain 100k employees to prepare for automation by 2025.


July 12, 2019

The ecommerce Goliath, which doesn’t exactly have a sterling track record for employee working conditions, announced it will retrain ⅓ of its 300k employees in an effort to prepare its massive workforce for a more automated future.

Amazon’s offering 6 different ‘upskilling’ plans

These programs — which have names like Amazon Technical Academy, Associate2Tech, and Machine Learning University — are designed to equip non-technical employees for technical roles, with a goal of training 100k across the entire company by 2025.

Many of Amazon’s employees already work alongside robots, and these new education programs will focus on training even more employees to work alongside them.

Automation is real, y’all

Nearly 40% of US jobs are in categories expected to shrink between now and 2030 — and, according to a forthcoming McKinsey report, entry-level and older workers are the most likely to lose out.

While Amazon may need less fulfillment workers in the future, it will need more high-skill employees — so the ecommerce giant hopes to use its existing labor force to build its future one.

But the outcome is uncertain. Amazon’s past attempts to upgrade its workforce have fizzled: A 2012 internal training program attracted just 25k of Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of employees.

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