Amazon plans to spend $700 million to retrain 100,000 workers, one-third of all U.S. employees, by 2025 to help them move into more advanced jobs or find new careers.
The company said the program entails expansions of its existing training programs and the introduction of new ones.
The training will be voluntary, and most of the programs will be free, Amazon said.
Amazon’s “Upskilling 2025” will invest in programs to offer employees skills in software engineering, machine learning, and AWS training and certification. The program will also provide paid intensive classroom training and on-the-job apprenticeships.
The programs will help employees from all backgrounds access training to help them move into highly skilled technical and non-technical roles across Amazon’s corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retail stores, and transportation network, or pursue career paths outside of the company.
“For us, creating these opportunities is just the beginning,” said Beth Galetti, senior vice president, human resources. “While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations.”
Amazon is on pace to reach 300,000 employees in the U.S. this year. It has more than 630,000 employees worldwide. Amazon’s fastest-growing, highly-skilled jobs over the last five years include include data mapping specialist, data scientist, solutions architect, security engineer, and business analyst.
Last month, Walmart announced it was extending its educational assistance benefits to allow high school students to take advantage of flexible schedules and standardized test preparation
The announcement of the training program comes days after employees at an Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, said they were planning a six-hour work stoppage to coincide with “Prime Day” on July 15 to protest working conditions.
The company raised its minimum wage for all U.S. employees to $15 last year, it said, while adding comprehensive healthcare, 20 weeks of paid parental leave, and 401(k) matching.
The company’s stock is up 34% so far this year.