Over 700 women at Suncorp Group will lead the charge in addressing Australia’s technology skills shortage, taking part in a cloud technology in-house training program.
Increasing digital transformation across all sectors in Australia has increased the demand for highly skilled technology workers with digital and cloud expertise.
Delivered in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the AWS CloudUp for Her Cloud Practitioner, is a flexible, eight-week, community-based learning program for women to learn the basics of cloud computing.
No technical or IT experience is required to start, making it suitable for any type of role at any level. Suncorp Group says it can also be an entry point for deeper technical certifications.
Adam Bennett, Chief Information Officer at Suncorp, says the program is tackling misconceptions about tech roles and breaking down perceived barriers to careers in tech.
“Cloud computing is the way of the future, and as an early adopter, we know that cloud computing can enable our Suncorp team to offer more innovative, digital insurance solutions for our customers; at lower cost and increased agility,” says Mr Bennet.
“We are blown away by the response, which has seen 1 in 12 of our female employees put their hand up to participate in the first cohort."
“Even more impressive is that around 70% come from non-technology roles as our people look to build basic cloud knowledge, future-proof their skills and potentially create new career pathways."
“We recognise our talent is our competitive advantage, so this is not only an investment in them and their careers, but helping shape our workforce of the future,” Mr Bennet says.
A recent AWS and Gallup study identified that 65% of Australian workers with advanced digital skills expressed higher levels of job satisfaction, earned 24% higher annual salaries, and increased their opportunities for promotion by 32%.
Suncorp and AWS have worked together for the past decade on the insurer’s migration to the cloud for its mission-critical apps, including its customer apps and pricing engine.
Through Suncorp’s cloud strategy, the company has committed to exit owned or leased data centres by early 2024, migrating 90% of its workloads to the cloud.
This transformation is expected to enable faster service updates, boost security and risk management capabilities, increase cost efficiencies, create a more agile and resilient architecture, and enhance opportunities for innovation, resulting in more positive customer experiences.
Rianne Van Veldhuizen, Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, AWS, says: “We have worked together with Suncorp to unlock the power of AWS to accelerate digital transformation and growth, enabling them to meet and exceed the constantly-changing and high demands that its customers are expecting.”
“To continue this modernisation journey, Suncorp will need employees with the right cloud skills to help the organisation innovate."
“It’s inspiring to see many women at Suncorp eager to start and continue their cloud learning journey."
“We’re committed to building and bringing a diverse pipeline of talent into the cloud workforce, and Suncorp’s implementation of the AWS CloudUp for Her Cloud Practitioner is a great step towards this goal,” says Ms Van Veldhuizen.
Lori Richardson, a project manager from Brisbane taking part in the program, says the program has opened new doors for her regarding career options.
“I’ve already learned so much and can see how this knowledge will benefit my current role. I’m learning the language, which will help me build credibility with my stakeholders."
“But I also see this as a great entry point to think about what possibilities there might be for me in this field down the track," says Richardson.
The Australian Government has also pledged to address the growing IT skills shortage and aims to have 1.2 million technology-related jobs by 2030.