Amazon.com Inc will fully fund college tuition for over 750,000 of its frontline employees, the e-commerce giant said on Thursday, stepping up its efforts to attract and retain workers in a tight domestic labor market.
It plans to spend about $1.2 billion in the next four years on its U.S employees, funding full college tuition and high school diplomas, including English proficiency certifications as well as upskilling programs, it said in a blogpost.
The move would help Amazon attract talent and beef up its delivery network and fulfillment center staff, at a time when labor shortages have left companies scrambling to fill vacancies and balance remote and in-office work in a reopening economy.
'Surge In Applications'
Amazon said it had seen a surge in applications to participate in education programs since the start of the pandemic, as employees looked to upskill.
It offers various upskilling programs including in Amazon Web Services, its cloud computing unit that saw demand shoot up thanks to remote work.
In other news, Amazon is developing new point-of-sale system to attract small businesses, according to Insider.
Amazon.com Inc is working on a new type of point-of-sale system that can be sold to third-party sellers, Insider reported on Wednesday.
The new system can handle both online and offline transactions and can also link to other services including Prime and Flex, the report added, citing an internal document.
The move will allow Amazon to compete with Canada's Shopify and U.S. payments giant PayPal, which already offer POS systems for payments for small businesses, that have moved online during the pandemic to boost sales.
Project Santos, created by an internal Amazon team to compete with Shopify, is leading the project, the report said.
Amazon declined to comment.