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Capgemini and AWS: Driving social sustainability through digital inclusion

In India, bridging the digital divide can accelerate the journey towards achieving social sustainability. Easy and affordable access to smartphones and Internet can create better opportunities of remote learning and skill development in the technology sector. India is home to the world’s largest youth population. These 21st century skills can help the demographic boon contribute to India’s growth story as well as become an engine for global economic development.

Recognizing the importance of digital inclusion, Capgemini, a multinational information technology services and consulting company, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), have come together to drive education and employability initiatives bridging the digital gap.

Anurag Kumar Pratap, Vice President & CSR Leader at Capgemini in India

Anurag Kumar Pratap, Vice President & CSR Leader at Capgemini in India

Anurag Kumar Pratap, Vice President & CSR Leader at Capgemini in India, spoke to AWS about Capgemini’s technology-enablement programs and how they help support the organization’s social sustainability efforts. Capgemini has collaborated with AWS on one such program, AWS re/Start, to fund the training of 1,800 learners in India between 2021 and 2024.

AWS re/Start is a cohort-based workforce development training program preparing individuals for entry to mid-level careers in high-demand cloud roles by providing technical coursework, hands-on labs, and professional skills training.

When we discuss sustainability, climate change and carbon footprint first come to mind. What does sustainability mean to Capgemini?

Anurag Pratap: At Capgemini, we’re taking actions to address climate change as well as inequality, which we believe are two of the biggest societal challenges facing us. We’ve developed a sustainability pledge that covers our three fundamental pillars: diversity, digital inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

To us, diversity means building an inclusive workplace, in addition to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. Digital inclusion builds on diversity, wherein we use our skills to help societies embrace the impact of the digital revolution. Not everyone has equal access to technology and the Internet. This digital divide can create significant disparities in opportunities and resources, leaving certain individuals or communities marginalized and excluded from the benefits of the digital era. Environmental sustainability means reducing our impact on the climate and supporting our clients.

How does digital skills training play into your social sustainability strategy?

Anurag Pratap: Technology has the capacity to empower individuals, allowing them to actively participate in progress and contribute as valuable members of society. But this is only true if people have sufficient technical knowledge and open digital access. Our pledge to provide digital skills training can reduce social inequality by targeting marginalized groups. We sponsor access to technology and cloud for individuals who do not have the means to be consistently present online for learning or afford specialized training. Our social sustainability projects cater to children, youth, and adults who are disadvantaged or marginalized.

Our programs are based on the principle that the digital revolution has reshaped how we live, work, and interact. However, not everyone enjoys equal access to technology and the Internet. Our aim is to ensure that no one is left behind in the digital age because of limited access to technology. By promoting digital inclusion, we are contributing to a more equitable and connected society. This empowers individuals to fully participate in the digital economy, access education and information, and engage with diverse services and opportunities.

We provide technology courses in DevOps, SAP, and Java, and cloud-based programs such as AWS re/Start to ensure participants have a solid technology foundation covering a range of cloud career roles. In total, our programs include over 500 hours of immersive learning, blending theory with project-based coursework to provide a well-rounded educational experience. Learners also receive intensive training in employability skills such as resume writing to get ready for their dream jobs.

How has AWS re/Start supported your inclusion efforts?

Anurag Pratap: Collaboration with clients, NGOs, and partners such as AWS amplifies the impact of our initiatives. In 2021, we committed to train 1,800 learners through AWS re/Start, averaging 600 learners each year. We also provide employment opportunities to program graduates, which support our recruitment efforts. Most of all, AWS re/Start has expanded our reach. In today’s business landscape, cloud technology is crucial for operational transformation. The evolving cloud environment requires a skilled workforce to keep up. Recognizing this, Capgemini and AWS joined forces to provide cloud training to India’s untapped talent—recent and enthusiastic graduates ready to embrace the dynamic cloud industry.

How do learners benefit from the AWS re/Start program?

Anurag Pratap: Program graduates walk away with a host of future-ready skills benefitting their career prospects and positively impacting their families and communities. Here are a few examples: one of our candidates came from a non-technical background. After joining AWS re/Start, he learned new skills in cloud computing, Linux, and Python. Graduating from AWS re/Start was a significant personal achievement allowing him to support his family financially. He never imagined working as a software engineer at a major IT company like Capgemini, and his growth trajectory has been remarkable.

Another Capgemini employee, who now works as a software associate, was the only girl from her village to secure a position in a multinational company. She credits AWS re/Start for helping her reach her career goals. She enrolled in the program directly after graduation, through EduBridge and Capgemini. The joy and energy that these young people bring to work every day is a testament to our efforts in collaboration with AWS.

How does the AWS re/Start initiative align with Capgemini’s objectives?

Anurag Pratap: There’s no doubt that our initiatives are improving both our business and workforce resilience. We combine sector expertise, cutting-edge cloud technologies, and global resources to shape a curriculum aligned with current market needs. We also highly regard the positive downstream impact of greater digital inclusion.

Capgemini is one of the top employers of the AWS re/Start program globally. Through this partnership, we are able to build the talent pipeline required to meet the growing demand for cloud and sector expertise from our customers. Recognizing the competitive nature of the digital skills landscape, we are addressing this by channelling investments into early-career talent. We are excited to see how the program helps participants become successful in the long run by boosting their confidence and self-esteem. We look forward to having a continued positive impact on societies where we live and work.

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