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Amazon Retrains More of Its Staff For Digital Future

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Amazon is in the midst of retraining a third of its U.S. workforce, spending $700 million over roughly six years to help everyone from fulfillment-center workers to software engineers prepare for new types of work. But one of the challenges for companies in helping workers gain new skills, management experts say, is determining the needs of an organization years in advance.

Beth Galetti, the company's senior vice president of world-wide HR, says the trend is clear: More jobs now involve working with advanced software or machines, even in fields that might not have traditionally required such digital acumen.

Fulfillment-center workers in warehouses must understand how to work alongside automated tools, she says. Software engineers will need a deeper understanding of more advanced skills, such as machine learning. In the past five years, Amazon has seen a 500% growth in roles such as data scientists and networking and security engineers, she says.

"It's just explosive from the technical side," Galetti says. "So we need to find ways to give those skills to the various different [sic] the breadth of employees that we have, in ways that will allow them to evolve as the environment evolves."

From The Wall Street Journal
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