Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched its first AWS Skills Centre outside of the US in Cape Town, South Africa. AWS Skills Centres are physical locations where anyone can access cloud training courses and resources from Amazon experts, helping to fulfill Amazon’s goal of providing free digital skills training to 29 million people around the globe by 2025.
AWS launched its first international Skills Centre in the birth city of elastic cloud, Cape Town. Source: Brendon Petersen/Reframed
As part of the grand opening ceremony, AWS invited local community leaders, education partners, government dignitaries, and job seekers to tour the facility and explore how the cloud is impacting their daily lives.
Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde, Director-General of Higher Education and Training Dr. Nkosinathi Sishi, Provincial Minister Mireille Wenger, Member of Mayoral Committee James Vos, and along with AWS leaders Maureen Lonergan, Tanuja Randery, and Rashika Ramlal shared their excitement about the new learning centre and the value it offers to the region.
“We look forward to working with AWS to bring powerful training resources to the citizens of South Africa. By investing in our people and their future, we are also investing in South Africa’s future and advancing our stature in the global economy,” said Alan Winde, Premier of the Western Cape.
“AWS is committed to removing barriers for people to access the skills training they need to grow their careers,” said Maureen Lonergan, vice president, AWS training and certification. “The Cape Town region is ripe with talent, and upskilling the workforce can play a key role in driving innovation, catalysing economic growth, and accelerating digital transformation across South Africa.”
Immersive exhibits, classroom training, and community events
Cape Town is the third AWS Skills Centre to open, joining US facilities in Seattle and Arlington. Each centre features a wide range of cloud training and career exploration activities that are free of charge and open to the public.
Each space is designed to engage visitors by showcasing how cloud technology is powering everything from weather predictions to robotics. Visitors learn by participating in a variety of fun and interactive experiences:
• The Cloud Discovery Space includes eight immersive exhibits that reveal how the cloud supports space exploration, gaming, machine learning, cybersecurity, and more.
• Both in-person and virtual participants can take live, instructor-led training from AWS experts to learn cloud computing fundamentals.
• Learners can leverage training and resources to prepare to earn an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification, validating their skills and enhancing their employability with an industry-recognised credential.
• The centre also offers career coaching and hosts networking events with local employers and workforce development organisations to connect workers with job placement opportunities.
Essential resources to build a skilled cloud workforce
The new Cape Town facility is helping expand workforce-development programs and transformation strategies in the local community. One of the primary objectives is to level the playing field through free education initiatives for nontechnical workers, helping to meet the growing need for skilled cloud talent.
According to the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) Future of Jobs report:
• Organisations identify skills gaps (60% of respondents) and an inability to attract talent (53%) as the key barriers preventing industry transformation.
• 60% of workers will require training before 2027, but only half have access to adequate training opportunities today.
• Over 75% of organisations plan to adopt technologies such as big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence in the next five years – driving a surge in demand for individuals with these skills and creating approximately 2.6 million new jobs by 2027.
To help meet the demand for cloud talent, AWS has trained more than 100,000 people in South Africa on cloud skills since 2017. This figure includes free and paid training.
View and register for classes and view schedules at this link.