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AWS to offer free cloud training to 29 million people

Global initiative unveiled at re:Invent will aim to bridge the skills gap highlighted by COVID-19

AWS re: Invent sign from Las Vegas

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced an ambitious plan to help 29 million people around the world gain digital skills with free cloud computing training. 

The announcement came on Thursday at re:Invent 2020, the cloud giant's annual conference. 

The training will include more than 500 free courses, interactive labs, and virtual day-long training sessions. AWS will also continue to invest in its free training courses to help participants earn certification, and will expand its AWS re:Start programme that looks to reach underrepresented communities to help them find work in the tech industry. 

What's more, AWS will pilot new training programs, such as a two-day AWS Fibre Optic Splicing Certification and its Machine Learning University, a free course designed to teach people ML concepts for business. 

This is just a snapshot of the work Amazon is doing to help individuals around the world, according to Teresa Carlson, VP of worldwide public sector at AWS. 

"As part of our efforts to continue supporting the future workforce, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing skills training to people from all walks of life and all levels of knowledge, in more than 200 countries and territories," Carlson wrote.

"We will provide training opportunities through existing AWS-designed programs, as well as develop new courses to meet a wide variety of schedules and learning goals. The training ranges from self-paced online courses - designed to help individuals update their technical skills - to intensive upskilling programs that can lead to new jobs in the technology industry."

The announcement will be welcomed by many around the world, particularly those in industries that have been displaced by the coronavirus, which will likely have a lasting impact on many job roles. Digital or tech roles, such as those with cloud computing specialties, are thought to be of high demand for the post-coronavirus world. 

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