Amazon Web Services re/Start MENA celebrates successful first year

by Claire Spiller | on

Closing the digital skills gap is a priority for the private and public sector, and government entities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. While unemployment rates remain high across the region—10.5% in 2020 compared to the global average of 6.6% according to the World Bank —a recent global survey by Amazon Web Services (Amazon Web Services) and Gallup revealed “myriad positive outcomes” for those who develop their digital skills, including higher salaries, job satisfaction, and increased revenue and innovation for the organizations that employ digitally skilled people .

Amazon Web Services re/Start is a no-cost, cohort-based, workforce development training program that first launched in the MENA region in June 2021. The program helps individuals build cloud computing skills and connects participants with employment opportunities with local employers. One year on from the graduation of the first Amazon Web Services re/Start cohorts in October 2021, Amazon Web Services re/Start congratulates the many program participants, across nine countries in the region, that have launched their careers in the cloud.

Amazon Web Services re/Start is a unique curriculum, providing no-cost cloud skills training that supports learners in building a skill set that aligns with the needs of some of the region’s most in-demand tech jobs. The program includes day-one-ready skills, such as Python, Linux, BASH Scripting, and Amazon Web Services Core Services. Additionally, participants receive softs skills training and resume and interview coaching.

Learners are also given the opportunity to connect with potential employers. Globally, Amazon Web Services re/Start connects more than 98% of graduates with job interview opportunities. Employers that have hired Amazon Web Services re/Start graduates include global telecommunication companies, regional banks, IT service providers and more.

Reflecting on Amazon Web Services re/Start’s progress in the MENA region, Claire Spiller, head of Amazon Web Services re/Start for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), said: “Amazon Web Services re/Start continues to be a global success story, helping prepare individuals for careers in the cloud. Across the region, we’re proud to see the success of these learners in developing key cloud technology skills, gaining an Amazon Web Services Certification upon graduation from the program, and beginning a new career in one of the most in-demand technology fields.”

Amazon Web Services re/Start now operates in more than 180 cities across more than 60 countries worldwide. It is part of Amazon Web Services’s effort to train 29 million people in cloud computing skills by 2025 . Two years after making this commitment, Amazon Web Services has trained over 13 million people globally. To deliver the Amazon Web Services re/Start curriculum in the MENA region, Amazon Web Services collaborates with key organizations, including the Information Technology Institute ( ITI ), Sprints AI in Egypt, Tuwaiq Academy in Saudi Arabia, Chams Association in Jordan, and Orange Digital Center across several countries in the MENA region.

“Joining the Amazon Web Services re/Start program was a turning point in my career,” said Amazon Web Services re/Start graduate Merna Osama. “After posting about my Amazon Web Services Cloud Practitioner Certification , many people from a variety of backgrounds connected with me. Once I graduated, companies gave me the opportunity to interview as a cloud engineer, helping me to find employment quickly.”

Husam Alhmoud, managing partner and founder of ForteCloud, an Egyptian-based technology company that hires graduates of the Amazon Web Services re/Start program, said: “As ForteCloud is expanding its operations, we are looking to double our headcount. Our future plans include a lot of innovative areas, which require people with a solid base in technology in general, and Amazon Web Services specifically, and we see Amazon Web Services re/Start as one of the main pillars to help us deliver the best services and solutions to our clients.”

“Amazon Web Services re/Start has been a great program for someone without a lot of knowledge and experience in IT,” said Amazon Web Services re/Start graduate Ali Saeed Jaffar Hammad, from Bahrain. “The presenter and the teachers have been great and have taught me a lot about cloud computing. They have been very approachable and supportive throughout the three-month Amazon Web Services re/Start journey.”

The Amazon Web Services re/Start Foundation program is open to unemployed and underemployed individuals, and can be completed in 12 weeks. Learn more about how to apply for Amazon Web Services re/Start.

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