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Training and Development

Digital skills gap an opportunity, says AWS UK boss

Headlines about skills gaps are many. According to a Government report, 72% of large companies and 49% of SMEs in the UK are “suffering tech skill gaps.”

However, instead of looking at it as a bottleneck, perhaps we should be looking at it in a positive light.

“We think there is actually a digital skills opportunity,” said Gavin Jackson, UK Managing Director at AWS, speaking at London event on Thursday. “To take those people that are left behind by the digital economy, give them the skills that they need to restart their careers and that Britain needs to get ahead.”

Amazon re:Start, announced at the event, is a free training and job placement programme aimed at helping young adults as well as ex-service people and their families.

Anyone aged between 16 and 25 and currently not in education, training, or employment, as well as those from a military background (such as cadets, service leavers, reservists, veterans, as well as their spouses) is eligible for the programme, on which they will learn the ins and outs of Cloud computing, including how to architect, design, and develop cloud-based applications.

“The aim is to give them the skills that they need for the jobs of the future,” Jackson said. “That means completing a free, intensive, full-time training course, which will provide the fundamental understanding of software development and cloud computing technologies.”

“There’s no question that the UK is bristling with some of the best minds when it comes to technology. We have a rich pedigree and a great education system. Britain is ambitious, it is creating new tech entrepreneurs and new companies. So there is a higher demand for skills.”

Partners offering work placements as part of the scheme include Sage, ARM, Funding Circle, and CloudReach. Jackson called on more companies to join the initiative and offer work-experience.

The Cloud giant also announced it will be developing training content and courses in support of the BBC Micro:Bit, the Raspberry Pi-like device which aims to help kids learn to code. 

 

Also read:
BBC’s micro:bit: Turning on the future, old school style
Can the skills shortage square with automation fear?

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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