Amazon Announces Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship (MRA) ProgramFebruary 22, 2021 by Damond Goodwin
Amazon’s Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship (MRA) program provides free career training in robotics for Amazon employees.
Amazon is highly integrated into the automation world. Their warehouses and shipping centers are dependent on the efficient use of robotics and automation. Downtime is costly and an effective maintenance team is necessary to keep operations running smoothly.
Video courtesy of Amazon.
To help their employees and create an effective robotics team, Amazon started the MRA program to train current employees in mechatronics and robotics.
Free Career Training in Robotics for Amazon Employees
Maintenance in the robotics industry is different from other fields because it takes a higher level of technical knowledge to be effective. With the new apprenticeship program’s help, employees can earn higher wages, and Amazon can build a highly effective, technically trained maintenance force.
Employees that finish the program can gain skills and advance their careers at no cost to their personal finances.
Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship
The MRA program is an opportunity for current Amazon employees to advance their careers and wage-earning capacity. The program aims to teach employees technical robotics and maintenance skills while they are still working and earning wages.
According to Kent Hollenbeck, the Amazon spokesperson, “All applicants must take a Ramsay Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship Aptitude assessment; these are scheduled after we verify basic qualifications that include high school diploma or equivalent as well as the associate being in good standing overall. If they qualify the exam is scheduled and is measured. If qualified they will be invited to interview with the apprenticeship team for a final review.”
Hollenbeck continued, “Upon acceptance, the apprentice is slotted at an open position at their preferred site when a spot becomes available. If a new hire, the individual must accept the offer and pass standard background checks prior to starting the program. Upon offer acceptance to the available MRA position at the designated site, the apprentice is scheduled to onboard (if new to the company) and will then have travel arranged to the designated training institution.”
Amazon automated warehouse robots. Image courtesy of Amazon.
The program is free and allows workers to learn new skills without the financial strain of attending college. The program is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and is recognized throughout the robotics and automation industries.
Any amazon employee can apply for the first phase of the program. If they gain acceptance in the first phase, they can move onto classes and training from one of Amazon’s higher education partners in a 12-week course. After completing this phase, Amazon employees can expect a 40% wage increase.
After the 12-week course, Amazon allows them to work in a one-year apprenticeship under current mechatronics and robotics technicians.
Once the apprenticeship is complete, they can apply for positions as full-time mechatronics and robotics technicians. The second phase and apprenticeship completion can result in another 48% earnings increase on top of the first pay increase.
Upscaling 2025 Initiative
The MRA program is part of a larger Amazon initiative called the Upscaling 2025 Initiative. The Amazon Upscaling 2025 Initiative was designed as a $700 million commitment to help employees earn skills resulting in higher-paying jobs.
Amazon plans to use the program to train 100,000 employees by the end of 2025 to help them move into higher-paying, in-demand jobs. The initiative also includes the Career Choice program, which will help pay for up to 95% of tuition and fees to help employees move up into higher-paying in-demand positions within their communities.
Amazon is helping to do its part with the labor shortage in technical fields. The MRA program aims to help current Amazon employees move from lower-paying jobs into higher-paying technical fields.
With a world constantly moving toward increased automation and robotics dependency, the need for technicians is increasing.
The program hopes to create a new labor force of mechatronics and robotics technicians who can work on robots and make them run more efficiently. The program gives Amazon a more skilled labor force and helps improve the lives of current Amazon employees with better career opportunities and higher wages.