Amazon Web Services (AWS) has flagged a mission to double down on its training efforts in New Zealand, as the cloud giant opens a new, larger office for itself in the Commercial Bay building in downtown Auckland.
“Creating a digitally skilled workforce is critical to accelerating innovation,” said Nick Walton, AWS New Zealand managing director. “Our new office space enables us to ramp up our training programs and help ensure that New Zealand gains the talented pool of professionals it needs to unlock the value of the cloud.
“Our goal is to train more than 29 million people globally by 2025,” he added, referencing AWS’ long-touted global efforts.
Walton went on to say that AWS was committed to improving the diversity of New Zealand’s IT workforce by creating opportunities for people from underrepresented communities to forge careers in the industry.
“Last week, we launched the AWS re/Start digital skills program in New Zealand,” he said. “People who are unemployed or underemployed, particularly within the Māori and Pacific communities, will gain cloud skills by taking part in a free 12-week full-time skills training program.
“Delivered in collaboration with Te Pūkenga, a national network of vocational education and training brought together by the New Zealand government, we look forward to providing an update on this program when this first cohort graduates,” he added.
The move to expand into larger premises and ramp up training initiatives comes as the company talks up its expansion in the local market since it opened its first office space in the country eight years ago.
AWS now employs more than 100 people across New Zealand, with 50 of its team members hired in the past year alone, Walton noted. At the same time, a thriving community of AWS partners in New Zealand are building small and medium-sized cloud businesses.
“We’ve created new jobs for data scientists, cloud engineers, solutions architects, and sales and account managers, so our teams can continue to drive innovation on behalf of our customers and partners,” he said.
AWS NZ’s first ever financial statements filed with the Companies Office earlier this year showed that the local company had been on a hiring spree in 2020, with wage and salary expenses increasing during the year from $11.5 million to $26.1 million.
Walton also pointed out that a further 30 highly skilled jobs were expected to arise from the multi-year alliance AWS inked with Auckland-based energy company Vector last year to jointly develop what the partners call a New Energy Platform (NEP).
“New Zealand has a rich community of innovators and entrepreneurs, and we support their tenacity and ambition to build and grow world-leading businesses,” Walton said. “That’s why we are continuing to deepen local investments and work hard to ensure our customers can access the latest technology to expand into global markets, improve their customer experience, and lower operating costs.”
Walton said that last year accelerated the country’s shift to a digital world and highlighted e urgent recognition of the problems that need to addressed, by the community as a whole, to drive the economy and society forward.
“We see great opportunity for New Zealand to be a leading nation in the digital economy and are excited to collaborate with our local customers and partners to be a part of that journey,” he said.
Walton returned home to New Zealand in January last year, fresh from running AWS' ASEAN region for four years, to manage the local business.
As previously reported by Reseller News, Walton returned with an agenda: to further build AWS' New Zealand channels and partnerships, which he described as a "pivotal part of the business".