New Zealand organisations offer internships and employment to AWS re/Start graduates
Auckland Council, Datacom, NEXTGEN Group, Planit, Pushpay, Spark Business Group (Spark, CCL and Leaven), Vector, and WayBeyond among participating organisations
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - 19 November, 2021 – Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced that the first AWS re/Start student cohort in New Zealand has graduated from the program with pathways to pursue careers in technology. AWS re/Start is a free, skills development and job training program that prepares learners for cloud computing careers, and globally connects more than 90% of graduates with job opportunities. The program is part of Amazon’s commitment to bring free cloud computing skills training to communities around the world.
The New Zealand technology sector has sizable digital skills and diversity gaps, as revealed in the Digital Skills Aotearoa: Digital Skills for our Digital Future report, commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) with NZTech. The study shows that New Zealand needs 4,000–5,000 new digital technology professionals each year, and that only 4% of Māori and 2.8% of Pasifika communities are employed in digital technology roles, highlighting that more must be done to grow and diversify the local talent pool.
To address New Zealand’s digital skills gap, AWS re/Start is collaborating with Te Pūkenga, the country’s largest tertiary education provider, to prepare learners for entry-level cloud roles and connect them to job opportunities. The program’s mission is to build local talent by providing AWS Cloud skills development and job opportunities to unemployed and underemployed residents, including those from Māori and Pasifika communities. The AWS re/Start New Zealand program features a unique internship element. Unitec, the Auckland-based subsidiary of Te Pūkenga, delivered the training and engaged with local employers to facilitate employment pathways. Every learner from the first cohort was matched with an internship at local IT organisations, including Datacom and The Instillery, with the aim to interview for a full-time position upon completion of the internship.
The first AWS re/Start New Zealand cohort completed a 12-week, skills-based training program that teaches fundamental AWS Cloud skills as well as practical career skills, such as interviewing and resume writing, to help prepare learners for entry-level cloud positions. Through scenario-based exercises, labs, and coursework, learners developed networking, security, and relational database skills. The program covered the cost and helped participants prepare for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification exam, so they could validate their cloud skills with an industry-recognised credential. Ultimately, the program prepared participants for entry-level cloud roles in operations, site reliability, and infrastructure support.
A second cohort is currently underway in Auckland and Christchurch, with 10 organisations committed to providing internships and employment to the next round of graduates. Participating organisations include Auckland Council, Datacom, NEXTGEN Group, Planit, Pushpay, Spark Business Group (Spark, CCL and Leaven), Vector, and WayBeyond.
“The collaboration with AWS is helping our learners realise their own potential while exploring exciting and sustainable career pathways,” said Dila Beisembayeva, AWS re/Start Program Manager at Te Pūkenga. “The program offers new and innovative career opportunities, and the experience has literally changed the lives of learners.”
Rhind Mulitalo, who graduated from the first re/Start cohort in Auckland, initially enrolled in AWS re/Start after spending a year seeking employment. “Growing up, I always had a passion for gaming and computing, and I discovered software development in my first year of university,” said Mulitalo. “After gaining two technology qualifications, I spent a year looking for a job just as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in New Zealand. As time went on, it became more daunting to look for a role. The AWS re/Start program provided me with practical workplace skills and cloud training, which led to a full-time role with Datacom. This job has brought structure, stability, and financial security to my life, and I’m extremely positive about my future.”
The AWS re/Start program and AWS’s recent announcement that it will invest NZ$7.5 billion to build a local AWS Region in New Zealand highlight the company’s strong commitment to supporting the growth of a healthy digital economy, said Tim Dacombe-Bird, Country Manager of Public Sector for Amazon Web Services New Zealand.
“The AWS re/Start program enables us to invest in local talent by providing accessible technology skills, development, and job opportunities to the entire community, including people who may have never considered a career in technology,” said Dacombe-Bird. “Cloud and technology skills are in extremely high demand, and it is our mission to help organisations meet their hiring needs for qualified, skilled professionals while also empowering local citizens to pursue a future in technology.”
“Datacom shares AWS’s commitment to addressing the current technology skills shortage in New Zealand by finding different ways to encourage and inspire a career in technology,” said Justin Gray, Managing Director of Datacom New Zealand. “The AWS re/Start program is a wonderful initiative that provides Māori and Pacific learners a pathway to launch technology careers, and we are thrilled to offer several graduates a full-time role with Datacom following this program.”
AWS also announced today that the AWS re/Start program has more than tripled the number of cities where it is available—from 25 cities in 12 countries in 2020, to 95 cities in 38 countries by the end of 2021, including New Zealand, Australia, and India. These efforts form part of Amazon’s investment of hundreds of millions of dollars to bring cloud computing skills training to communities around the world and provide free cloud computing skills training to 29 million people by 2025. AWS has already helped nearly six million adults gain cloud skills since 2020, including more than two million people in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region.
For more information, visit the AWS re/Start website.