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Amazon's new employee training program: Scalable to a "reskilling revolution"?

 
Amazon's new $700 million "reskilling" of employees could generate major ripples in American business and well beyond. 
 
One key analysis:
 
"We find that 1.37 million [U.S.] workers who are projected to be displaced  .... in the next decade ...may be reskilled to new viable (similar skillset) and desirable (higher wages) growing roles at a cost of US$34 billion. On average, this would entail US$24,800 per displaced worker." - World  Economic Forum, January, 2018  "Towards a Reskilling Revolution"  with this subhead: "Industry-Led Action for the Future of Work".

Excerpts from The New York Times report on the Amazon reskilling program  

"Amazon's Latest Experiment: Retraining Its Workforce" :
 
"As automation technology has leapt ahead, workers increasingly worry about losing their jobs to robots and algorithms ...The e-commerce giant plan[s] to spend $700 million to retrain about a third of its American workforce to do more high-tech tasks, an acknowledgement that advances in technology are remaking jobs in nearly every industry -- and that workers need to adapt or risk being left behind...
 
"Amazon said the program amounted to one of the world's largest employee-retraining efforts. It will apply across the company from corporate employees to warehouse workers, retraining about 100,000 by 2025. Amazon has about 300,000 employees in the United States ...
 
"The McKinsey Global Institute predicts that up to one-third of the American work force will have to switch to new occupations by 2030."
 
Axios Future's Erica Pandey  sees a trend in the making "I Big Thing: Reskilling-in-a-box" .
 
"Fortune 500 companies have come out with training programs to prepare their workers for a future in which their jobs can change significantly - or cease to exist at all. Why it matters: Alongside those programs, a for-profit, training-as-a-service industry is emerging - firms that will come to your company and train everyone for you. Amazon, with its troves of data and cash, may be best positioned to dominate this new reskilling-in-a-box business ... 
 
"It arguably has already gotten started: It has rolled out one of its training programs Career Choice, to several companies across 13 countries. Through the program, it partners with community colleges to train Amazon workers and place them in jobs ranging from dental hygienist to plumber to web developer...
 
"[A training expert:] If Amazon or other firms want to offer such services, there's a publicly funded infrastructure of community colleges and schools that will be required to pull that off."
 
Reskilling.
 
Look for it in the next edition of your dictionary -- digital, of course.
 

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