Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the undisputed leader in the cloud market today, and it is further expanding its reach by starting a new program for skills development. On Thursday, January 12th, AWS announced a program called re:Start, through which it aims to provide skills training for about 1,000 people in the UK. At the end of this training program, it plans to provide employment for these people within AWS or in partner companies and organizations.
This is an important move by AWS, and could signal the beginning of a new approach towards technology in general, and cloud in particular. Currently, the cloud industry is facing a big gap in skills. In other words, not many people are trained in cloud technology, and this is causing a big problem for companies like AWS. Due to this shortage in skills, their talent pool is greatly reduced. This also affects their expansion plans, as the growth is not supported by great minds that are well-versed in technology. As a result, some companies are forced to scale back their operations, and maybe even reconsider their growth strategy.
In addition, cost of labor is also high. The economics of job market dictates that when demand is greater than supply, companies will have to pay more to retain the knowledgeable workforce. Over time, these costs can really add up. Besides paying high salaries, companies have to depend on some critical resources for their continued operations. This dependence works against established management principles, and obviously can put projects at risk, especially when the critical resources are not available.
To overcome these multi-pronged challenges, AWS decided to start its own training division through which it plans to train employees, and later employ them for its own needs. As a first step, it has offered this training program in the UK. It’s interesting that AWS started this program in the UK, considering the fallout of Brexit and the widely reported skill gaps that have been reported in the UK. Last year, many MPs warned that the UK needs almost 750,000 people with advanced technical skills to meet the growing demands with this economy, and the existing government initiatives are not enough to fill this gap.
In a way, AWS has set an example for other companies to follow suit. Without waiting for any government action or program, it has started its own division for training. The obvious advantage with such a program is that AWS can train people based on the specific skills it needs. Hence, it has the flexibility to choose one technology over another, depending on its immediate and future need.
Such a move also augurs well for the economy as it reduces unemployment rate and increases the productivity and contribution of workers. This program aims to attract young adults, military veterans, reservists, spouses and other deserving candidates. As of now, AWS has entrusted the task of finding the right candidates to a HR outsourcing company called QA Consulting in partnership with the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and The Prince’s Trust.
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