Google Cloud is working to help more disadvantaged young people continue their careers in the cloud with the help of the global provider of non-profit youth employment program Generation.

The initiative, known as the Katalyst program, is led by Richard Regan, head of partner engineering for the UK and Ireland at Google Cloud, and aims to make a career in the cloud accessible to people who are usually underrepresented in the field. of technology.

The program was created a year ago, and the idea came to Regan after a meeting of chief technology officers (CTOs) during a Google Cloud Partner network event, where the shortage of people with cloud skills across the industry dominated the discussions.

Attendees spoke about how difficult it was for them to hire, train and retain talent in the cloud and how this affected their ability to move forward on projects that would allow them to migrate more of their applications and workloads off-premises, he said. Regan in front of Computer Weekly.

From then on, Regan came up with the idea of ​​creating a cloud training program to reduce barriers to entry for underrepresented groups, while giving them the opportunity to specialize in Google Cloud technology.

“[It could be] nothing else that changes the lives of some when you look at salaries commanded by cloud professionals due to a lack of supplies, ”he said.

The experience of the technical directors who attended the event is in line with Gartner’s observations as a market observer who spoke earlier about the detrimental impact that cloud skills shortages are likely to have on companies’ ability to meet their digital transformation plans. in the coming years.

about this issue, Gartner publishes a forecast for 2020 this said that the lack of technicians with the skills and experience to work on deploying public cloud and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) will create delays of two years or more for businesses that want to migrate their local workloads.

“We wanted to do something at the local level to help grow the pool of qualified people available, ideally to join underrepresented groups,” Regan added.

To help get the project up and running quickly, Google has enlisted the help of the Generation UK skills charity, which specializes in providing education and training, to help people find work in industries that may normally be banned or inaccessible to them.

“The program is aimed at actors representing gender balance, ethnic minority communities, young people who are furthest from the labor market through no fault of their own, people who have not been in education, work or training for more than six months,” or those with a mental or physical challenge who have not had a chance to develop their skills, ”Regan said.

A 12-week pilot program is to take place over the summer and will offer participants access to a combination of technical training and education on the soft skills they need to succeed in technology, as well as access to work. Google Cloud Partner Network capabilities.

Regan confirmed that there will be 25 participants in the pilot program, but in time the program will be open to hundreds of students, with preliminary plans for potential expansion to other overseas territories where Google Cloud operates.

“There is already a lot of demand, but we want to be measured [during the pilot programme] so we don’t scale too fast, “he added.

During the 12 weeks, participants will follow the training program required to secure Google Cloud Digital Leader certification. They will also do part of the training required to obtain Google Cloud Associate Engineer certification, with the idea of ​​completing it within six months of starting work with a Google Cloud Partner organization.

Stuart Wilson, Research Director of European Partner Ecosystems at IDC, IT Market Observer, said that investing in cloud training programs that support inclusion is a “necessity” to build a consistent flow of technological talent in support of cloud migration plans of enterprises.

“Overcoming barriers to employment for underrepresented and privileged people is on the minds of every organization right now. In today’s world of technology, which relies on specialized skills that we know are in high demand, it’s obvious how critical training programs are to pave the way for new talent, Wilson said.

“Initiatives such as Project Katalyst are a step in the right direction, as they create new pathways and opportunities for wider communities to contribute to these growing industries by overcoming this skills gap.

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