AWS Public Sector Blog

AWS re/Start MENA celebrates successful first year

Closing the digital skills gap is a priority for the private and public sector, and government entities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. While unemployment rates remain high across the region—10.5% in 2020 compared to the global average of 6.6% according to the World Bank—a recent global survey by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Gallup revealed “myriad positive outcomes” for those who develop their digital skills, including higher salaries, job satisfaction, and increased revenue and innovation for the organizations that employ digitally skilled people.

AWS re/Start is a no-cost, cohort-based, workforce development training program that first launched in the MENA region in June 2021. The program helps individuals build cloud computing skills and connects participants with employment opportunities with local employers. One year on from the graduation of the first AWS re/Start cohorts in October 2021, AWS re/Start congratulates the many program participants, across nine countries in the region, that have launched their careers in the cloud.

AWS re/Start is a unique curriculum, providing no-cost cloud skills training that supports learners in building a skill set that aligns with the needs of some of the region’s most in-demand tech jobs. The program includes day-one-ready skills, such as Python, Linux, BASH Scripting, and AWS Core Services. Additionally, participants receive softs skills training and resume and interview coaching.

Learners are also given the opportunity to connect with potential employers. Globally, AWS re/Start connects more than 98% of graduates with job interview opportunities. Employers that have hired AWS re/Start graduates include global telecommunication companies, regional banks, IT service providers and more.

Reflecting on AWS re/Start’s progress in the MENA region, Claire Spiller, head of AWS re/Start for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), said: “AWS re/Start continues to be a global success story, helping prepare individuals for careers in the cloud. Across the region, we’re proud to see the success of these learners in developing key cloud technology skills, gaining an AWS Certification upon graduation from the program, and beginning a new career in one of the most in-demand technology fields.”

AWS re/Start now operates in more than 180 cities across more than 60 countries worldwide. It is part of AWS’s effort to train 29 million people in cloud computing skills by 2025. Two years after making this commitment, AWS has trained over 13 million people globally. To deliver the AWS re/Start curriculum in the MENA region, AWS collaborates with key organizations, including the Information Technology Institute (ITI), Sprints AI in Egypt, Tuwaiq Academy in Saudi Arabia, Chams Association in Jordan, and Orange Digital Center across several countries in the MENA region.

“Joining the AWS re/Start program was a turning point in my career,” said AWS re/Start graduate Merna Osama. “After posting about my AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification, many people from a variety of backgrounds connected with me. Once I graduated, companies gave me the opportunity to interview as a cloud engineer, helping me to find employment quickly.”

Husam Alhmoud, managing partner and founder of ForteCloud, an Egyptian-based technology company that hires graduates of the AWS re/Start program, said: “As ForteCloud is expanding its operations, we are looking to double our headcount. Our future plans include a lot of innovative areas, which require people with a solid base in technology in general, and AWS specifically, and we see AWS re/Start as one of the main pillars to help us deliver the best services and solutions to our clients.”

“AWS re/Start has been a great program for someone without a lot of knowledge and experience in IT,” said AWS re/Start graduate Ali Saeed Jaffar Hammad, from Bahrain. “The presenter and the teachers have been great and have taught me a lot about cloud computing. They have been very approachable and supportive throughout the three-month AWS re/Start journey.”

The AWS re/Start Foundation program is open to unemployed and underemployed individuals, and can be completed in 12 weeks. Learn more about how to apply for AWS re/Start.

Subscribe to the AWS Public Sector Blog newsletter to get the latest in AWS tools, solutions, and innovations from the public sector delivered to your inbox, or contact us.

Please take a few minutes to share insights regarding your experience with the AWS Public Sector Blog in this survey, and we’ll use feedback from the survey to create more content aligned with the preferences of our readers.