Amazon has committed to expanding workers' upskilling opportunities and is encouraging other employers to do the same.
According to a study from Amazon and Workplace Intelligence, which surveyed 3,000 US employees across different industries and companies, most are concerned about the lack of career development opportunities. And three-quarters of Gen Z and millennial employees are prepared to move on because of subpar upskilling support or a lack of career mobility options.
Amazon is committing $1.2 billion to its Upskilling 2025 pledge to fight that frustration. "In today's employee-driven job market, employees feel empowered to seek out an employer that truly supports their long-term career goals and ambitions," says Dan Schawbel, managing partner at Workplace Intelligence.
"Companies who recognize this and provide a high level of support—from more time for skills development during the workday to better learning benefits and programs—are going to stay one step ahead in the ongoing war for talent."
Since its launch in 2021, Amazon's Upskilling 2025 pledge has aimed to do just that, providing 300,000 employees with access to education and skills training programs, including college tuition. The company also offers 10 upskilling and skills-based training programs to corporate and operations employees.
That's in stark contrast to the issues surveyed workers have with today's workforce. More than half said their employer offers free or partially covered tuition, training programs, and networking opportunities. Still, eight out of 10 employees think it's important for their employers to offer those benefits.
Because of that disconnect, around two-thirds of respondents said it's extremely or somewhat likely they will leave their job this year. And while financial compensation is a factor, employees gave other reasons for considering a career shake-up. Almost half cited advancing their career to achieve better work-life balance, while another 41 percent desire a sense of purpose.
With its pledge and decade-old Career Choice program, which has helped more than 90,000 employees, Amazon hopes to influence companies to create development programs and make them a regular practice.
"The past few years have shown that skills development, career advancement and professional mobility are no longer nice-to-haves but are the key to recruiting and retaining top talent across our workforce," says Eric Adams, vice president of talent management and compensation at Amazon.