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As company adds more robots, Amazon to spend $700M on employee training

Cox Media Group

By: KIRO 7 News Staff

Amazon announced it is making a big investment in its employees by training them to move into highly skilled technical and non-technical in-demand jobs as the company adds more robots to its workforce.

The company announced Thursday that it will invest more than $700 million in training programs for one in three of its employees across the U.S.

An executive told CBS This Morning the company will add thousands of robots to its workforce and needs to employees to control them.

While many think of robots as replacing jobs done by humans, Amazon says it needs qualified people more than ever to work with those robots, which perform less skilled work and repetitive tasks. 

People are needed for jobs such as floor control specialist, which manage the daily flow of robot traffic at Amazon fulfillment warehouses. The company says the new robots mean new career paths in roles involving robotics and software.

But the plan to upskill employees isn’t just for jobs related to robots.  Amazon said the programs will help employees from all backgrounds move into skilled jobs across the company’s corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retail stores, and transportation network, or even pursue career paths outside the company.

The idea is to help employees get the skills needed as the world is changing.

Programs include the Amazon Technical Academy for software engineering careers, Associate2Tech, which trains warehouse employees to move into technical roles, Machine Learning University, AmazonCareer Choice, a pre-paid tuition program, Amazon Apprenticeship and AWS Training and Certification.

According to a news release:

Based on a review of its workforce and analysis of U.S. hiring, Amazon’s fastest growing highly skilled jobs over the last five years include data mapping specialist, data scientist, solutions architect and business analyst, as well as logistics coordinator, process improvement manager and transportation specialist within our customer fulfillment network.

Learn more about Amazon’s upskilling programs here.

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