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Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Cloud arm of Amazon, announced four initiatives to empower learners with access to free cloud computing skills training on Friday as part of the company’s mission to educate 29 million people by 2025.

The initiatives include the launch of AWS Skill Builder — a new digital learning experience — and the addition of AWS courses to the Amazon.com website, the expansion of the AWS re/Start global reskilling program, and the opening of the AWS Skills Centre-Amazon’s first dedicated, and in-person cloud learning space, the company has said.

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In December 2020, Amazon committed to investing hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing skills training to 29 million people by 2025-reaching people from all walks of life and all levels of knowledge in more than 200 countries and territories.

On this mission, Amazon has already helped over 6 million people gain cloud skills, the company said.

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“Our goal is to empower anyone with a desire to learn by giving them access to the tools necessary to excel in cloud computing careers. Over the next decade, we expect the adoption of cloud computing across every industry will fuel a vast number of new jobs, which is why we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to develop online courses, local in-person reskilling programmes, and new ways to make it easy for anyone to learn cloud skills,” said Maureen Lonergan, Vice President of Training and Certification at AWS, in the statement.

“Lowering barriers to accessing technical skills training is critical to power a thriving, diverse workforce of the future. The programs that are part of this commitment are free and designed to meet a range of learner needs, whether they are totally new to the cloud computing industry or even to technology-or experienced professionals looking to advance their skills,” Lonergan added.

The latest initiatives come as newly released research shows that the need for digital skills training is greater than ever. The AWS Global Digital Skills Study surveyed employers and workers on their perceptions of digital skills training across 12 countries.

The study found that 85 percent of workers feel that they now need more technical knowledge to do their jobs as a result of pandemic-related changes in their work.

In addition, workers who take the time to learn new skills are seeing significant benefits, with 86 percent reporting greater efficiency in doing their jobs, 85 percent experiencing greater personal satisfaction, and 80 percent reporting improved employability.

Employers who support workforce education programs also see benefits, with 87 percent reporting that investments in digital skills training have allowed their organizations to achieve their digital transformation goals more quickly and 84 per cent noting improved worker retention.

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