Deloitte Australia launches AWS Cloud Guild

Touts skilled workers as key for adapting to remote working brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deloitte Australia has on Tuesday launched a new internal program, aimed at training over 4,000 staff on cloud technologies.

Speaking with media on a virtual panel session hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Deloitte Australia AWS Alliance lead Zack Levy said the Deloitte Cloud Guild is aiming to take professional development within the consulting firm, specifically around cloud, to the next level.

"Clients rely on us for our expertise, it is critical for our people to be up to speed with the latest technology and cloud is an enabling technology that underpins so many business transformations today," Levy said.

"This is why we decided to team up with AWS and invest in this initiative."

According to Levy, the Deloitte Cloud Guild will offer a mix of training opportunities, including the usual physical and online classes, but will also see staff participate in the likes of hackathons and tailored digital modules.

"The idea is to provide participants, whether they're beginners or experienced, with the opportunities to acquire new cloud skills or build on top of their cloud skills and this is all based on the framework that AWS has developed," he explained.

"Investing in the cloud guild is something that we've been planning for a while, continuous technology education is critical for us at Deloitte if we are to continue to be seen as a leader in technology transformation."

See also: Want to study online? Here's what I learned after a year of remote learning

Discussing the importance of a skilled workforce in the current climate, with many staff working remotely to adhere to social distancing measures put in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Levy said investing in future-ready tools for staff would allow for a more seamless transition.

"We know education provides confidence and in a rapidly changing, uncertain world, I think COVID-19 really brought it to the surface, we're improving the ability of our people to navigate with agility through the new world of work by learning future ready skills," he said.

In addition to physical offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Deloitte last year stood up a virtual office, complete with its own managing director.

"We wanted to do this to make sure that our people are well equipped to work effectively," Levy said.

He said the virtual office proved a beneficial investment, with 97% of Deloitte's workforce working remotely.

With the new initiative, Deloitte joins other Australian businesses that have implemented an AWS Cloud Skills Guild-style training program, including Insurance Australia Group, Australia Post, Kmart Group, and the National Australia Bank (NAB).

The bank in April 2018 stood up the NAB Cloud Guild, an internal program that offers AWS skills training.

NAB executive general manager for infrastructure, cloud, and workplace Steven Day told ZDNet in May last year that senior leadership were also undertaking training, specifically around the business side of cloud.

As of November, NAB said more than 4,500 employees have been trained in cloud technology and close to 900 people have been certified in AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud products.

Likewise, Kmart Group announced it would be providing AWS certification to 100% of its IT workforce, and more than 80% of its non-technical head office employees.

1,400 Kmart and Target employees from around Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, and India participated in the training.

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