Indigenous startup Goanna Solutions has joined forces with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch re/Start, a full-time digital skills training program aimed to reskill unemployed and underemployed Aussies for a career in cloud services.
The program supports students with integrated training including technical, behavioural and mindset skills, mentoring, social support services, job application, and interview preparation, and is focused on addressing the cloud skills gap and building an inclusive and diverse pipeline of cloud talent in entry-level roles.
With more than 1 million Australians predicted to be unemployed due to COVID-19, it is more important than ever for local industry to work together to help people transition to new careers. According to the 2019 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, nearly 80 per cent of IT decision-makers see hiring as a challenge. Additionally, according to LinkedIn, cloud computing skills such as Machine Learning (ML) and data analytics were the most in-demand hard skills sought after by employers in 2019
AWS re/Start will be delivered as part of Goanna Solutions’ Yapang initiative. ‘Yapang’ translates as ‘pathways’ from the Dunghutti Aboriginal language. Yapang addresses and matches the needs of two groups:
- Unemployed and underemployed individuals who have an aptitude for cloud skills, but have not traditionally had access to opportunities to develop a career in cloud computing
- Organisations looking to grow their cloud talent and build a diverse workforce
The first AWS re/Start cohort, which commenced in Melbourne and Sydney this week, will provide members of the community with the opportunity to complete 12 weeks of virtual classroom-based training led by an AWS-accredited instructor at no cost. The program prepares learners to pursue the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam, which validates an individual’s overall understanding of cloud technology with an industry-recognised credential while practicing problem-solving based on real-world situations and hands-on lab exercises. AWS re/Start students receive a study guide, access to instructors, a complimentary exam voucher to take the certification exam at no cost to the learner, and additional resources to help them continue their independent study.
Liam Harte, Goanna Solutions Social Impact Lead said the collaboration with AWS is an exciting opportunity.
“We are committed to fostering a more diverse and inclusive technology sector and creating new opportunities for our graduates as they become entry-level cloud practitioners. Initiatives like these provide a wide range of people with a new option to explore a career in cloud computing and secure long term employment,” said Harte.
“Women are underrepresented in STEM education and careers with women from minority groups being particularly underrepresented. It is crucial that we inspire more women into STEM careers, and provide the tools and support to enable them throughout their education and career journey. The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the pre-existing inequalities, with 8.1% of women unemployed, compared to 6.2% of men. The AWS re/Start program is designed to build a pipeline of female role models in the industry. In this cohort for example, we have a mother of two taking a step back into the workforce with her partner, both looking to excel in a new technology career in cloud computing.”
Adam Beavis, Managing Director for Commercial Services in Australia and New Zealand at AWS said the AWS re/Start program allows the cloud giant to invest in and support local talent as well as reinforce a culture of diversity and inclusion.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment towards a more equal and inclusive workplace through our unique collaborations including the launch of AWS re/Start today, our digital skills training program, to improve employee diversity for the technology sector” said Beavis.
“We are making training available to people who may have never even considered a career in technology, which will help build skills to support the economy. Cloud skills are in higher demand than ever before, and it is our mission to enable all students, as well as the current workforce to help organisations meet their hiring needs for qualified skilled professionals.
“In addition to AWS re/Start, we have our AWS InCommunities program that provides cloud training and support for disadvantaged students in Western Sydney, and our collaboration with Tech Girls Movement Foundation to provide girls with access to materials and technology to build their confidence and skills. Diverse and inclusive teams help us to innovate on behalf of our customers, and allows us to have a positive impact on our employees and the wider community,” said Beavis.
One such student, is a 37-year-old mum of two, Renee. After taking the last few years off from work to care for her family, she has taken the steps to get back into the workforce.
“As a new mum getting back into the workforce seemed quite daunting, however, the AWS re/Start program has provided opportunities I didn’t think were possible! I’m extremely excited to further my training and knowledge and begin my new career in the Cloud Computing Industry!”
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