AWS launches job placement program for Australian veterans

For the first time, AWS will run its Educate for Veterans cloud-learning program outside of the United States.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced it will be extending its Educate for Veteran program that is designed to help train veterans in cloud computing for the first time outside of the United States.

"This allows veterans prepare for a future career in cloud. The program will help individuals gain the skills needed to get into cloud computing jobs and for online career pathways, such as data scientists, cyber security, and cloud support engineers," AWS Australia and New Zealand public sector director Iain Rouse said.

Rouse said the introduction of the program, which will be officially launched in mid-2020, marks the company's acknowledgement of the significant skills gap that currently exists in the tech industry.

"We're committed to prepare the next generation of IT and cloud professionals to help address this skills gap," he said, during his keynote presentation at the AWS Public Sector Summit in Canberra this week.

See also: AI is key for business success, but lack of skilled staff remains a barrier (TechRepublic)

Amazon's first foray into cloud skills training came with the launch of AWS Educate, back in 2015.

But AWS is not alone in trying to plug the skills gap in the country. Australia Post CIO John Cox said the company is looking to train 150 of its existing staff – from its broader IT team through to architects – in the cloud this year.

"It's just-in-time training and it's for those people who will be using those skills," he said.

Cox said it builds on the external work the company has been pursuing through its Tech Academy that was launched last year.

Read more: 3 essential skills for network professionals (TechRepublic)

The Tech Academy is a two-year training program designed to give applicants who do not have IT backgrounds the chance to be trained in technical capabilities.

"We entered into this program because we identified there was a shortage of skills, from a tech perspective, in the broader system, not just Australia Post," Cox said, pointing out that 20 applicants were accepted into the program this year.

From an education perspective, RMIT University CIO Paul Oppenheimer said the university is a taking a "modular approach" to IT education.

"We're looking at the hard and soft skills that can be gained through micro-credentials, short courses, and offering a lot more flexibility about how people can acquire [cloud] skills and they can be publicly available courses or micro-credentials that existing within other programs," he said.

"People can pick and choose and start to stack their career that they weren't able to do in the past. You have more flexibility, you have content that is co-created with industry, and so there is a far greater connection between students and industry. It's industry's interest what we're creating is relevant."

Disclosure: Aimee Chanthadavong travelled to Amazon Web Services Public Sector Summit in Canberra courtesy of Amazon Web Services.

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