Amazon Invests Bigtime in Its Current Workforce
Amazon is one of the large corporations impacted by the current competitive labor market.
With the US unemployment rate at a 50 year low it has become challenging to attract and
retain the right candidates for roles across all skill levels. This means employers must
either loosen their hiring criteria in regard to education, drug testing and criminal records
or look to their existing workforce as a major sitting resource.
$700m in Retraining Investment
And that indeed is what Amazon intends to do! An investment of $700m in retraining
efforts aimed at about 1/3 of its American workforce is underway. The goal it’s claimed
is to capitalize on technology to handle routine roles while allowing workers to upskill
and move up the ladder, for example training floor workers as IT technicians. This is
truly experimental though. Government attempts to turn manufacturing roles into
computer roles have been largely unsuccessful and attempts to do the same in the
corporate world have been few. It remains to be seen how well the investment plays
out in a more challenged economy.
Although there have been concerns about the replacement of human labor by automation,
the evidence does not point to major displacement. Large companies such as Amazon have
hired thousands of warehouse workers, and jobs in the manufacturing industry continue to
grow after years of cuts.