Amazon’s Career Choice program is expanding its slate of language programs globally. Career Choice now offers English-language classes in the 13 non-U.S. countries the program operates, as well as local language classes in some of those countries. The expansion is a direct response to the needs and feedback we’ve heard from Career Choice-eligible employees.
These new offerings will include English-language classes in all countries, and local languages in Canada (French Canadian), France (French), Germany (German), Italy (Italian), Poland (Polish), and Spain (Spanish).
A study from the European Commission shows that for employees, speaking a foreign language is an in-demand skill. It can boost one’s employability, resulting in more job opportunities and a higher salary.
“Employees with multilingual skills are a vital resource in helping the business succeed and grow in global markets,” said Stefano Perego, vice president of Customer Fulfillment for Worldwide Operations at Amazon. “I grew up speaking Italian and learned English as a second language. Being multilingual helped me secure my first role at Amazon, nearly 11 years ago, and has propelled my career in many ways. The ability to communicate with colleagues around the world and connect with different types of people has provided me countless opportunities and helped shape my career. I’m excited about the expansion of the program to empower our employees to learn a new language, or explore the other offerings available through Career Choice.”
Initially launched in 2012 in the U.S., Career Choice has seen more than 130,000 participants explore a range of opportunities, including starting or returning to school, learning new skills and languages, or earning industry certifications. The program currently operates in 14 countries including the U.S., UK, Canada, Germany, and Poland, and has continued to offer new pathways, classes, and benefits to hourly employees in fields of study such as transportation, technology, and health care.
Last year, the program expanded its offerings in the U.S. to include English-language programs, pre-paid college tuition, and GED and high school diploma programs. To date, 8,000 employees in the U.S. have participated in the English-language proficiency programs. Thus far in 2023, we have already seen more than 20,000 participants sign up for Career Choice globally. Although Career Choice has grown its offerings over time, its mission remains unchanged: to empower employees to learn new skills for professional success at Amazon or elsewhere.
“I moved to America from Togo, Africa, a French-speaking country, four years ago. The language barrier in the U.S. was a significant challenge. I knew learning English would help my everyday life. Amazon's Career Choice program gave me access to English-learning courses, online coaching, and group practice sessions entirely free," said Abla Alassey, an Associate based in Pittsburgh. “The program immediately helped me at work and in my overall life. I can better communicate with my colleagues, and it's also built confidence, thanks to my ability to speak and understand English.”
Career Choice is just one way we’re supporting the diverse needs of our employees. Last year, we also launched Welcome Door, a program that provides immigration support for refugee and humanitarian-based immigrant employees in the U.S. Welcome Door gives these employees access to several benefits and tools, including free legal resources to help navigate immigration-related questions, the option to connect with immigration experts, and customized mentorship to support each employee’s unique situation. Once they meet eligibility requirements, humanitarian-based immigrant employees can take classes and certifications through Career Choice, including English and industry pathways, to continue their education and expand their skill sets.
Eligible employees can access information about language programs through this Career Choice site.