A bunch of Amazon boxes await delivery in a warehouse.Ever on the lookout for the best talent available, Amazon has looked inward this time, announcing that it will spend 700 million over the next six years to retrain a third of its workforce.

The goal is to help Amazon’s own workers advance within the company. The new training program will be available to 100,000 workers by 2025. Known as upskilling, the program will allow non-tech workers such as those in distribution or administrative functions to learn coding and other IT skills.

With thousands of openings worldwide and technology changing the face of business, Amazon hopes to develop existing workers into the IT savants of the future through its “Upskilling 2025” initiative. Workers will be able to use the training to transfer between positions that, without the training, they might not have been qualified for.

“While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations,” said Beth Galetti, Amazon’s head of HR, in a prepared statement. “We think it’s important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves.”

Upskilling adds another tool to the company’s employee retention toolbox. Amazon Apprenticeship, which offers paid intensive classroom training and on-the-job apprenticeships, allows more employees to find pathways to better paying jobs in the company.

More than 20 million manufacturing jobs around the world are expected to disappear in the next 10 years as robots and artificial intelligence/machine learning take over many of the functions. That’s roughly 8.5% of the global workforce engaged in manufacturing.

“Through its Upskilling 2025 pledge, Amazon is focused on creating pathways to careers in areas that will continue growing in years to come, including healthcare, machine learning, manufacturing, robotics, computer science, cloud computing, and more,” the company said in a statement.

Washington is renowned for its top-tier workforce so it’s no surprise that local companies are finding innovative ways to find and keep talented workers. Upskilling appears to be a new way to accomplish that.

Read more at CNN.

 

 

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