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Amit Mehta
Head of AWS Training and Certification, India

According to a recent study, the number of workers in India requiring digital skills will need to increase nine times by 2025. The research found that the average worker in India will need to develop seven new digital skills to keep pace with technology advancements and demand. This amounts to 3.9 billion digital skill trainings from 2020 to 2025.

The private sector has a crucial role to play. Meeting the talent needs of the burgeoning Indian economy requires investment by corporations and novel approaches that tap India’s vast pool of non-technical talent. At AWS, we believe in the power of skills training to positively impact people’s lives. We are aiming to equip individuals and teams with the skills to leverage the AWS Cloud and innovate in the digital world.

A chance to restart

On October 6, 2021, AWS re/Start launched in India. This free skills development and job training program prepares unemployed or underemployed individuals for careers in cloud computing. The 12-week full-time program, delivered by expert instructors, now has cohorts in six Indian cities, including Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, and Thiruvananthapuram, and is offered at no cost to learners.

Crucially, no previous technology experience is required to apply, but enthusiasm for cloud technology helps! The ideal candidate has been unemployed or underemployed for a significant period, has a senior secondary certificate or equivalent diploma, and basic literacy and numeracy skills.

This program is unique because it taps into a new talent pool in India, and helps people who might otherwise not have the opportunity to build cloud skills and launch cloud careers. This translates into a pipeline of diverse, non-traditional cloud talent to help close the skills gap.

The AWS re/Start skills-based training program covers fundamental AWS cloud skills and practical career skills, including interviewing, coaching, and resume writing to help prepare learners for a career in the cloud. Mixing real-world-scenario-based exercises, labs, and coursework, students build Linux, Python, networking, security, and relational database skills. They then take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification exam with a free voucher provided by AWS – a powerful certification to add to any job application.

What’s more, AWS re/Start also matches people with entry level job opportunities, enabling them to launch thriving careers. Globally, AWS re/Start connects more than 90% of graduates with job interview opportunities. Graduates are prepared for paid internships, apprenticeships, and other entry-level roles in cloud operations, site reliability, and infrastructure support. Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, digital transformation, technology, and engineering services with approximately 150,000 employees in India, is providing financial assistance for AWS re/Start, and plans to interview and hire select program graduates into various cloud roles.

AWS re/Start benefits learners, organizations, and the community. The free job training program builds learners technical and soft skills while also preparing them for cloud careers. It helps our customers and partners efficiently hire entry-level cloud staff. By reducing recruitment costs, AWS re/Start reduces the time that tech roles are vacant and allows organizations to re-allocate senior roles to more impactful duties.

Local learners

AWS re/Start builds local talent and by closing the skills gap in the community helps reduce unemployment and underemployment at the local level. It also prepares communities for in-demand jobs in the tech sector.

“I am very happy to be learning new cloud skills that will pave the way for me to get a job.”
Harshada Jondhale
A learner from Nanded, Maharashtra

A learner from Nanded, Maharashtra, Harshada Jondhale, said, “I live in a remote area where girls aren’t exposed to or encouraged to pursue technical fields. After I graduated, I found it difficult to get a job without any technical skills. I decided to apply to AWS re/Start when a relative recommended it to me and am very happy to be learning new cloud skills that will pave the way for me to get a job.”

“I’m so excited to join AWS re/Start in order to learn the skills to kick off a new career in technology and a new chapter in my life.”
Nasrin Imran Jamadar
A learner from Sangli, Maharashtra

Similarly, Nasrin Imran Jamadar who left her job to look after her family in Sangli, Maharashtra shared, “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit India my husband lost his job, so I decided to find work. I’ve always been interested in technology and was fascinated by cloud computing. I’m so excited to join AWS re/Start in order to learn the skills to kick off a new career in technology and a new chapter in my life.”

Expanding access to free training

AWS re/Start is just one of many ways we are working to build a diverse tech pipeline for communities. Amazon has committed to training more than 29 million people worldwide for free by 2025. By approaching the skills gap through multiple programs, from different angles, and addressing many diverse audiences, we hope to help people across the globe grow their technical skills for free. AWS re/Start is unique because it focuses on building the next generation of cloud professionals by tapping into a non-traditional talent pipeline.      

Globally, AWS re/Start is now available in 52 cities across 25 countries, from Kenya to New Zealand, helping individuals start a career in the cloud. Last year, we pledged to double the reach of AWS re/Start from 25 cities globally in 2020 to more than 50 cities in 2021, and we're pleased to announce that we hit this milestone in July, six months ahead of schedule.

With this expansion into India, we aim to help some of India’s unemployed or underemployed population pivot to a new career with relative ease, and upskill talent that otherwise wouldn’t be in this industry. While the country’s more than 1,000 universities will continue to supply a steady stream of qualified digital staff, programs like AWS re/Start will guide those who are new to cloud computing into India’s digital world.