Amazon announced plans Thursday to offer job training to around one-third of its US workforce to help them gain skills to adapt to new technologies.
The US tech giant said it would spend $700 million for its Upskilling 2025 program to train 100,000 employes to help them move into more skilled roles within or outside of Amazon.
The move comes amid growing concerns that automation and robots are killing low-skilled jobs and that many workers lack training for new roles being created by technology.
Amazon said its employees would be offered training for positions as mapping specialists, data scientists, business analysts, logistics coordinators and other roles within the company.
Beth Galetti, Amazon senior vice president for human resources, said the program is not limited to training for roles within the company and that training would be offered for jobs in health care, machine learning, manufacturing, robotics, computer science, cloud computing, and more sectors.
“While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations,” Galetti said in a 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.”
Amazon said official US reports show there are some 7.4 million job openings and roughly six million unemployed, with employees needed as medical assistants, statisticians, software developers, nurse practitioners, and wind turbine service technicians.
A recent study suggested robots are expected to take over some 20 million manufacturing jobs worldwide by 2030, extending a trend of worsening social inequality while boosting overall economic output, a new study shows.
The forecast last month by Oxford Economics, a private British-based research and consulting firm, said job displacement from the rise of robots will not be evenly spread around the world, or within countries.