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How Amazon Is Reinventing Upskilling for 2025

How Amazon Is Reinventing Upskilling for 2025

Upskilling is an increasingly important tactic that organizations are using to ensure their talent is both secure and well-trained. Numerous benefits come with upskilling. Even Amazon recognizes the value of such programs. Read on to learn what upskilling is and how Amazon sets an example for how to use it effectively. 


What Is Upskilling?

Upskilling refers to the act of teaching an employee new or additional skills. This can be through continuing education, in-house training, or even by earning certifications. According to the Association for Talent Development, offering employees new skills can boost productivity, reduce turnover rates, improve employee satisfaction, and increase employee retention.

Upskilling is also a way to ensure your organization is preparing for the future. Many employees are lacking in specific skills needed for their position regardless of work experience. The focus should be on upskilling quality candidates with an aptitude for learning. 


What Is the Long-Term Value of Upskilling?

As an HR pro, you are positioned to see how upskilling your talent can improve the overall success of your organization, but you can witness benefits on a micro-scale, too. 

In the past, employers turned to qualified candidates with enough job experience to complete the functions of their position with ease. The issue with this strategy is that it was not future-proof. Now, employers realize the value of continued training and upskilling. One way to capitalize on this is by opening up your organization’s job pool to employees who may not have the correct job experience but are eager to learn new concepts and skills. 

By focusing your time and energy on employees who display the qualities you wish to develop, you will find yourself with a much larger pool of candidates to choose from during your recruiting process.

Consider not only the candidate on paper but also how they think. The intangibles are sometimes more valuable than experience. These unproven skills, when developed, can raise the ceiling on what an employee can accomplish in ways that past experience will not. 


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What Is Amazon’s Upskilling 2025 Initiative?

Back in September 2021, Amazon made the decision to invest heavily in the training of its employees. This commitment would entail a $1.2 billion investment to provide approximately 300,000 employees with programs devoted to general training and improving skills.

Amazon 2025 encompasses a variety of programs honing in on unique training opportunities. These programs include:

    • Amazon Technical Apprenticeship – This program can provide interested employees with a hands-on learning experience in technical roles within Amazon. 

  • Amazon Technical Academy – This program focuses on training employees for roles in software development. The training provides current employees an opportunity to learn and master the skills necessary to begin a career within the software industry.

  • Surge2IT – This is a learning program offered to entry-level IT professionals. It provides employees with materials and resources to improve their IT skills and help them advance in their careers. The program is also offered at zero cost to employees. 

  • Career Choice – Career Choice is focused on providing employees with an opportunity to earn a degree that otherwise may not have been available to them. The program runs through amazon affiliates and, depending on the field of study, will cover approximately 95% of tuition.

  • User Experience Design and Research (UXDR) Apprenticeship – Amazon offers full-time employees access to a one-year-long training program devoted to UX design skills. 

  • AWS Training and Certification – Amazon is expanding its Amazon Web Services (AWS) training options to incorporate cloud certification and learning options. This program provides employees with a chance to further their understanding of cloud-based systems and cultivate more skills. 

  • Machine Learning University (MLU) –Amazon has built this program for employees who began their careers in coding and tech. It provides employees with specialized training in machine learning to further their careers. 

  • AWS Grow Our Own Talent – AWS is a work-based learning program that allows employees to learn technical skills for specialized roles within the Amazon organization. 

  • Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship – This program offers employees a chance to learn the ins and outs of robotics within the workplace and the skills necessary to maintain these machines. The program is registered with the Department of Labor and sees employee wages increase by nearly 40%. 

Amazon has often stood at the forefront of progress and continues to do so in its devotion to long-term employee training. With the number of programs and resources allocated toward their success, it is clear that, once again, Amazon is after long-term success and continued growth. 

While most organizations will not have access to vast amounts of resources like Amazon, the importance of upskilling can still be gleaned from understanding their intent. 


How Can Your Organization Effectively Implement Upskilling Programs?

Even if you lack resources, simply offering training in other areas of your organization can be greatly beneficial. A few steps you can take to improve your upskilling opportunities are:

    1. Evaluate your organization's needs. Whether in tech, software, sales, etc., Focus training opportunities in the specific areas of need.

    2. Understand the resources at your disposal. How much time do current employees have to work with trainees? What online courses are available to your organization at a cost you can afford? Do your research and determine the answers to these questions before investing in solutions.

    3. Customize your training methods. Don't create vague or unfocused programs. Customize your training to match the needs of your organization and provide beneficial skills to your employees. 

    4. Track your results. Make sure you are tracking the data and progress of employees. If training isn't working, change it. If employees aren't interested, find out why, and form new opportunities. Upskilling is meant to help your organization, don't allow it to become a wasted program. 

Providing employees with opportunities to learn and grow within your organization can not only increase your access to more qualified candidates when roles become available but also improve your culture, retention, and overall recruiting efforts


Additional Resources

You can also stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with upskilling and other important topics by using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop shop for HR industry news

  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance

  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics

  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics 


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