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Capgemini and AWS: Securing the future of cloud-based technology

Nico Steenkamp

Capgemini and AWS understand the importance of cloud-based technology and recognize that there is a distinct skill shortage in this huge growth area. Through collaboration, they are committed to solving this global challenge. AWS re/Start is a free skills development and job training program that prepares learners for cloud computing careers. The 12-week program is offered at no cost to learners and previous technology experience is not required. It attracts a diverse pool of potential talent, from parents returning to the workplace to ex-service personnel looking to retrain. As of September 2021, the program was available in 52 cities across 25 countries – and our involvement started with a conversation.

Capgemini and AWS were discussing how they could combine their strengths and join forces to improve and enhance the skills of current and future employees – especially in the arena of cloud-based technology. This sector has grown exponentially in the last few years, particularly since the pandemic as cloud-based systems became more widely recognized as the most safe and secure way to contain confidential information, improve resiliency and accelerate innovation.

Nico Steenkamp, vice president – Global Amazon Partner Executive at Capgemini says, “While our partnership with AWS touches on inclusion and corporate social responsibility, it’s not a charity. It’s aligned with a definable business strategy that provides real employment opportunities for a cross-section of people.”

“We are together in this and commit to each other, and we have certain goals that are intertwined. We have been partners with Amazon since 2008 and our partnership continues to evolve as the world is changing – and it’s changing at pace.”

Through the training programs, AWS and Capgemini can grow relationships at a local level and focus on training people who will benefit from gaining cloud-based skills. Nico says, “There’s a huge demand for cloud-based systems and we’re thinking ‘where do we go to find these people to develop applications for the cloud or to build the architecture our clients demand?’ AWS identifies where there is a need and finds and trains people through re/Start and we have jobs available after. It’s all about ‘getting’ and ‘growing’ our employees; building skills for life.”

In addition to technical skills, AWS re/Start teaches employability skills that will prepare learners for success in a professional environment. The course also teaches students to think critically, build multi-level projects, plan projects, and communicate effectively.

Collaborations like this one aren’t commonplace – yet. But Capgemini and AWS are seeing first-hand the benefit of cooperation between corporations in tackling global challenges.

The cooperation first started in the US, with a partnership between Capgemini, AWS re/Start, and non-profit trainer Per Scholas. As a leader in digital transformation, Capgemini has a responsibility to become a bridge between technology, business, and society to shape a better future with digital inclusion embedded at the heart of its corporate strategy. Per Scholas has its roots in the Bronx area of New York and today provides access to technology training for people from traditionally excluded backgrounds. This philosophy ensures all people find opportunities in technology, not just the privileged few. The initiative benefits society, and it’s helping Capgemini build a more diverse talent pool.

The project launched in the Netherlands this year and, at the beginning of October, launched in India on a larger scale. The Indian program plans to train and place 1,800 young people from Bangalore, Mumbai, and Chennai over three years; and at least 50% of the candidates will be women.

To further strengthen the partnership Capgemini undertook a planned employee engagement activity with the AWS team during Impact Together Week (Oct 4-8). This virtual activity saw 128 Capgemini colleagues hold 1:1 coaching sessions with trainees on the AWS re/Start program. As well as providing important technology training, Impact Together Week encourages Capgemini employees to donate their time and share their skills to help their local communities in a variety of ways including hands-on projects such as building.

As for the future, Nico Steenkamp believes it’s rooted in innovation and for this reason, accessible training will be an essential part of the Capgemini corporate strategy.