AWS cloud upskilling initiative doubles global presence

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) says its cloud computing skills development and job training programme, AWS re/Start, is available in 52 cities across 25 countries, including SA.

This, says AWS, comes six months ahead of its schedule to double the reach from 25 cities globally in 2020, to more than 50 cities in 2021.

AWS re/Start is a full-time, free 12-week training programme, covering fundamental AWS Cloud and practical career skills. Its aim is to prepare unemployed or underemployed individuals for careers in cloud computing, as well as provide organisations with a pipeline of entry-level cloud computing talent.

The cloud computing giant says it began the global rollout of the initiative in 2019, launching in Sub-Saharan Africa in October 2020. It now runs in six countries in the region: SA, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal and Rwanda.

“As of 1 July, the programme has expanded in 2021 to 27 new cities and 13 new countries,” it states. “The programme is now in 52 cities across 25 countries – and counting.”

According to AWS, the training programme is part of a larger commitment to train 29 million learners free of charge by 2025.

Last month, banking group Nedbank announced it had partnered with AWS on this initiative, to train learners selected from the 2021 Nedbank Youth Employment Service programme.

According to the bank, some of the learners will eventually be absorbed into Nedbank, while the others will be employed by its partners.

AWS re/Start does not require previous experience in technology, says the company, adding the programme is intentional about recruiting learners from diverse and underrepresented groups.

“We’ve seen individuals with a range of backgrounds, from retail and hospitality, to the military and stay-at-home parents, successfully graduate from the programme and into entry-level IT jobs.

“Excitement and demand for the programme has enabled AWS re/Start to grow faster than expected to help remove barriers to full-time, skills-based learning opportunities.

“While scarcity of highly-experienced cloud talent is a major concern for many organisations, AWS sees this need as an opportunity to re-invent how talent is cultivated, trained and retained.”

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