Woolworths to spend $50m equipping staff with 'tech' skills

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Woolworths to spend $50m equipping staff with 'tech' skills

Agile, analytics and automation training on the agenda.

Woolworths has allocated at least $50 million over three years to give more than 60,000 of its 200,000 staff technology-oriented skills.

The retailer said Monday that its ‘future of work fund’ would “help upskill, reskill and redeploy team members impacted by industry disruption and technological change.”

Training would be delivered through “key learning institutions” as well as a new online learning platform.

“The key technical focus areas for training will be in digital, data analytics, machine learning and robotics, with further investment planned for advanced customer service skills, team leadership and agile ways of working,” Woolworths said in a statement.

Much of the retraining aims to beef up Woolworths’ e-commerce and online operations, both at the front-end and behind-the-scenes.

Some effort will go into retraining staff impacted by the automation of delivery centres, either for “technical and supervisory roles with robotics and automation” in the revamped centres, or “to support a new career outside of the organisation”, the company said.

Woolworths said it also plans to hire and train “thousands of new online team members to assist with e-commerce growth.”

Additionally, the company said it would train staff working in “support functions” in agile ways of working and advanced analytics.

“Technological advances in automation, predictive analytics, AI and cloud computing are making core retail processes much faster and more efficient than ever before,” CEO Brad Banducci said.

“While these changes push our industry forward for the better, they’re also changing the nature of the day to day work many of our people do.”

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