Amazon announced on Thursday that it will invest $700 million into programs that offer training to 100,000 of its employees by 2025 so they can move into more skilled roles or jobs outside of Amazon.
The company said the “upskilling” program includes initiatives to help non-technical employees enter software engineering careers, offer paid apprenticeships and teach machine learning skills, among other things. Amazon employs more than 600,000 people and is increasingly automating its warehouses and other areas of its business. Retraining existing employees could help the company fill job openings for engineering and other roles, and arm it with a response when it is asked what will happen to workers whose jobs are replaced by robots.
Also, as lawmakers and presidential candidates criticize Amazon over how much it pays in taxes and whether it hurts competition, it’s helpful for Amazon to cast itself as a big employer that helps its workers move up the ladder or find new roles.