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Free training and skills development programme aims to help ‘jump-start’ careers in thriving cloud computing sector

Date: 21 May 2021

Category: Digital Innovation


Jayne Brady Belfast Digital Innovation Commissioner

Innovation City Belfast and TechTalent Academy are collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deliver a new, free online training programme – AWS re/Start – in Belfast to help unemployed and underemployed people gain the skills they need to secure employment in the cloud computing sector.

The collaboration is one of the first initiatives being promoted by Innovation City Belfast, a new partnership launched earlier this week. Formed by six of the city’s key institutions – Belfast City CouncilBelfast HarbourCatalystQueen’s University Belfast, and Ulster University, with Invest Northern Ireland as an advisory partner – Innovation City Belfast is working to establish the city as a globally significant destination for innovation.

AWS re/Start is a free, 12 week, full time skills development programme, enabling individuals to jump-start their career working in cloud computing. Through scenario-based learning, labs, and coursework, participants will gain the skills they need for an entry-level cloud role, as well as practical employment skills including communication, time management, collaboration, interviewing and CV writing.

According to Tech Nation, there are currently 806 open tech jobs in Northern Ireland, with 64% of those based in Belfast. As the sector continues to grow, it is predicted that this demand will only increase, bringing with it a major skills supply challenge. 

Amy, a recent AWS re/Start graduate, said: “The AWS re/Start programme with TechTalent Academy has been life changing. The trainers have successfully guided me through the course, where I not only gained fundamental IT knowledge, skills, and an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner credential, but also, with their encouragement and mentoring, I was able to get a new job as a Cloud Ops Engineer. I cannot thank TechTalent Academy enough for this amazing opportunity.”

Digital Innovation Commissioner Jayne Brady said: “Together, Innovation City Belfast, TechTalent Academy, and AWS are building a diverse global pipeline of new cloud talent by engaging unemployed or underemployed people who otherwise might not have had access to this career path.”

“Innovation City Belfast is all about harnessing innovation and new technologies to create jobs and opportunities and to improve quality of life. We want to open up opportunities for people to get involved in what’s going to be the most rapidly growing sector of our economy. We also know that investors choose to locate here because of the quality of our talent, so AWS re/Start is a very natural collaboration. We look forward to seeing many people enhance their skills and gain better employment opportunities as a result of this programme.”

AWS re/Start will be taught remotely, and begins on 24 May. A technology background is not required to apply. Throughout the programme, students will learn cloud computing skills whilst preparing for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification. Upon graduation, TechTalent Academy will connect individuals with potential employers, providing a pipeline of qualified entry-level cloud talent for local employers.

“The AWS re/Start programme supports local people who may never have considered a career in tech to be a viable option for them. We actively encourage applications from underrepresented groups and those who are unemployed or underemployed. We are committed to helping them achieve an inspiring tech career,” commented Janice Rae, CEO and Founder of TechTalent Academy.

To apply for the AWS re/Start programme please visit: https://techtalent.academy/register-for-the-aws-re-start-program-belfast/

For more information about TechTalent Academy and AWS re/Start, visit: https://techtalent.academy/aws-re-start-program-belfast/

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