Google Cloud kicks off UK pilot to boost skills across partner ecosystem

The hyperscaler is offering under-represented groups and those who might have missed out on further education a chance to learn valuable cloud skills and secure jobs in the industry

Google Cloud has kicked off a UK pilot of its Project Katalyst with the aim of boosting skills across its partner community.

The plan is to work with partners and young people looking to enter the industry and provide opportunities to generate more skilled individuals who could be cultivated across the industry.

Richard Regan, head of partner engineering for the UK and Ireland at Google Cloud, outlined the ambition to give people who have not been able to go via the further education route a chance to enter the industry.

“We wanted to do something locally to help grow the pool of available skilled individuals, ideally tapping into under-represented groups,” he stated. “This was the genesis of Project Katalyst: to create a programme that would provide equal access to job opportunities for young people who may not have had the chance to go university, giving under-represented groups a path into a rewarding, well-paid and growing tech sector.”

The programme lasts 12 weeks, with a pilot due to run in the summer, covering both technical and soft skills training.

“On the course, participants will go through the Google Cloud Digital Leader certification, and will also do much of the training for the Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer certification, which they will be expected to complete in the first six months of their new roles, once they start at our Google Cloud Partners,” added Regan.

“Participants will then get to meet and interview for confirmed roles at our Google Cloud Partners, with an expected annual salary of up to £30,000 in London. To grow the pool of under-represented people working on our technology and the workplace in general, the programme is aimed at participants representing a balance of genders, ethnic minority communities, young people who are furthest away from the labour market through no fault of their own, individuals who are not in education, employment or training for more than six months, or those with a mental or physical challenge who’ve not had a chance to develop their skills,” he said.

If the programme goes well in the UK, the cloud giant will look to expand it to other territories.

The hyperscaler has been cranking up its channel involvement this week, starting by signing a distribution deal with TD Synnex before outlining the training measures.

Stuart Wilson, research director for European partnering ecosystems at IDC, said it made sense for the industry to open the doors to as wide an audience as possible.

“In the technology world, which is reliant upon specialist skills that we know are in high demand, it’s now obvious how critical training programmes are to open up avenues for new talent. Initiatives like Project Katalyst are a step in the right direction, as they create new pathways and possibilities for wider communities to contribute to these growth industries, through bridging that skills gap,” he said.

“Investing in inclusive cloud training programmes like this one is a real necessity to help grow the pool of future talent in the cloud and data space,” Wilson added.

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