This includes the launch of AWS Skill Builder, the addition of AWS courses to the Amazon website, and expansion of the AWS re/Start global reskilling program.
These initiatives are timely as recent research shows that the need for digital skills training is greater than ever. The AWS Global Digital Skills Study surveyed employers and workers on their perceptions of digital skills training across 12 countries. The study found that 85% of workers feel that they now need more technical knowledge to do their jobs as a result of pandemic-related changes in their work.
“Over the next decade, we expect the adoption of cloud computing across every industry will fuel a vast number of new jobs, which is why we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to develop online courses, local in-person reskilling programs,” says AWS vice president of training and certification Maureen Lonergan.
“The programs that are part of this commitment are free and designed to meet a range of learner needs, whether they are totally new to the cloud computing industry—or even to technology—or experienced professionals looking to advance their skills,” Lonergan says.
Enter the AWS Skill Builder, a new digital learning experience available in more than 200 countries and territories.
It offers 500 free courses—including nearly 60 new cloud computing classes added this year. Users can also get course recommendations for learning plans aligned to job roles and technology areas, helping people access the most relevant content for their skill level.
To make finding skills training content even more convenient, free AWS courses are now available on the site.
US shoppers can access AWS training courses with a single click. People looking to advance their cloud computing knowledge and technology skills can browse for free courses. The content is available via the new “AWS Courses” section of the site, where consumers can find and select skills training courses and pick up their learning wherever they left off. The AWS courses can also be found through AWS Training Partners.
AWS is tripling the number of cities where AWS re/Start is available—from 25 cities in 12 countries in 2020 to 95 cities in 38 countries by the end of 2021.
AWS re/Start is a free, full-time, 12-week program that prepares individuals with little or no technology experience to pursue entry-level cloud computing careers. Through real-world, scenario-based exercises, labs, and coursework, students build a range of skills in a number of technology areas including Linux, Python, networking, security, and relational databases. The program connects up to 90% of graduates with job interview opportunities, and is focused on individuals from underrepresented communities, military veterans and their spouses, and those who have lost their jobs due to outdated skills.
“We recognise the value of diverse perspectives as they help us with the complex work we do. The AWS re/Start program is an important source for finding and developing diverse cloud talent and the skills needed,” Accenture managing director Andy Tay comments.
“Skills are the currency of the future, and businesses and government must urgently work together to prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow. When organisations like Amazon provide workforce programs for the public, they contribute to creating increased opportunities for individuals and communities around the world,” Zahidi says.
In Australia and New Zealand
In Australia and New Zealand, AWS says the AWS Skill Builder has trained more than 200,000 people since 2017.
Earlier this year, AWS released the research study Unlocking APAC's Digital Potential: Changing Digital Skill Needs and Policy Approaches, published by strategy and economics consulting firm AlphaBeta, and found Australia needs an additional 6.5 million newly skilled and reskilled digital workers by 2025.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Digital Skills Survey 2020 by NZTech revealed that Aotearoa requires an additional 4,822 digitally skilled employees by 2022, an increase of more than 41%, based on 2017 forecasts.
“Upskilling does not need to take months—it can be done in days and weeks through micro-credentials, small certification-style subject focused study. There is incredible untapped potential, particularly within the non-tech workforce to harness their existing skills and experience to advance in our communities and society at large,” explains AWS director and country leader worldwide public sector Australia and New Zealand Iain Rouse.
AWS is working with academic institutions to deliver the program. It has partnered with the University of NSW (UNSW) to create course materials for its CyberSECurity Education Network (SECedu) cybersecurity training course to help students develop cloud-oriented security skills.
Local solutions to local issues
The AWS re/Start program is also taught through local training providers such as Australian Indigenous training company Goanna Solutions and New Zealand’s tertiary education provider, Te Pūkenga. In the past 12 months, AWS re/Start has expanded across Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and New Zealand.
AWS re/Start has connected more than 90% of graduates with job interview opportunities.
It cites Joe Howe as an example, who was able to return to the employment market after taking a five-year break to be a full-time parent.
Through AWS re/Start, he received the latest training on cloud computing, helping him land a job at Itoc, an AWS advanced consulting partner that works with customers on Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, within a week of graduation.
Sazia Khan, another AWS re/Start graduate, retrained herself as a cybersecurity professional after COVID-19 lockdowns put a pause on her 10-year career in hospitality. Now she is now reskilled in tech and cybersecurity and working as a senior security analyst at global IT services and consulting company, Accenture.
For many graduates, AWS re/Start provides the opportunity to get their technology careers on track. New Zealand re/Start graduate Jocelynn Bourne completed a computer science degree after leaving high school, but found the prospect of getting a job in the industry daunting. The AWS re/Start program gave her an overview of the cloud computing industry, and face-to-face networking opportunities.
A community driven approach
In Queensland, AWS collaborated with the Sunshine Coast Council, Tafe Qld, and local industry group Silicon Coast, to provide the Sunshine Coast community with free access to specialist digital skills training.
Amazon introduced the Next Level courses to help build new, job-ready skills in the areas of cloud computing, cybersecurity, and application and software development.
The program is open to students, business owners, ICT professionals, and anyone interested in pursuing a technology career.
“We need to challenge the status quo, and create the conditions for success where skills can be acquired in hours, and credentials acquired within days. There is incredible untapped potential for non-tech workers to develop their digital skills and, along with their existing experience and skills, create incredible advancements in our communities and society,” concludes Rouse.