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AWS launches programme to inspire more girls to pursue a career in tech

Amazon Web Services has unveiled plans to boost the number of girls considering a career in the tech industry with the launch of a new initiative called AWS Get IT.

The programme, a collaboration with the non-profit Future Foundations, is aimed at introducing year eight students in the UK to cloud computing and digital skills.

Participants will create applications to solve real-world issues and AWS will shortlist 10 teams to present their ideas before a panel at its annual summit in London in 2020. AWS will then develop and maintain the winning application.

The initiative will also provide students with the opportunity to attend digital skills bootcamps to learn more about how to develop software, including research techniques and audience identification.

“This programme is about much more than providing digital skills. It’s about helping young people to fulfil their potential, and breaks down the stereotype that tech is a career best suited to men,” said Lucy Moses, head of AWS Get IT for Future Foundations.

“AWS Get IT provides a strong foundation from which students can grow and learn and makes digital skills accessible to students across the country who may not have had the opportunity otherwise.”

In March, Amazon UK has launched a £130,000 annual bursary scheme aimed at boosting the number of women working in the tech industry. Under the scheme, dubbed Amazon Amplify, the e-commerce giant will support 24 women entering the sector every year.

The move comes after Amazon partnered with the campaign group WISE to carry out research which found that a 10 per cent increase in women working in science, technology, engineering, and maths careers would lead to a £3bn boost for the economy.

The research also revealed that nine in 10 women experience barriers to taking up a career in innovation. Just 20 per cent of women surveyed said that had received support from their employers. A lack of confidence, male dominated environments and a lack of recognition were all identified as hurdles for women entering the industry.