Amazon has offered to cover the costs of university tuition fees for 750,000 of its frontline US staff, as it struggles to attract and retain new workers.

Amazon said it would invest $1.2bn (£870m) into the scheme with workers able to access the funding so long as they continue working for the retailer. 

Amazon said on its website that the scheme would apply at “hundreds of education partners across the country”, but it did not name any universities specifically. 

Amazon said the tuition scheme would also cover other types of education including high school diplomas and English language courses, as well as extending on-the-job training for 300,000 workers. 

“Amazon is now the largest job creator in the US and we know that investing in free skills training for our teams can have a huge impact for hundreds of thousands of families across the country,” said Dave Clark, head of worldwide consumer at Amazon.

The retailer is the latest to offer workers education funding in the US, following similar moves by Walmart and Target. The US is facing a labour crisis with job openings hitting a record high of 10.9 million in July, surpassing the number of the unemployed by more than 2 million.

Dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’, experts say a combination of people leaving the workforce during the pandemic, lingering concerns about Covid-19 and a lack of childcare have prolonged the shortage.

Last month, Walmart said it would pay the costs of tuition and books for its hourly workers, while Target offered undergraduate degrees to more than 340,000 frontline staff.

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