Amazon Teams With Greece’s Jobless Agency for Digital Skills Training

ATHENS – Facing claims by workers in the United States of pushing them to work in arduous and unsafe conditions, Amazon will team with Greece’s Manpower Organization (OAED) to offer digital skills services to the jobless.

The deal was signed with Amazon Web Services in the presence of Labor and Social Affairs Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, said Kathimerini, the two sides developing skills development for cloud service technologies.

The aim is to upgrade the tools that people out of work can have to find jobs in technology that comes as 80 percent of Greek companies are moving faster toward digital transformation, said a survey by the National Documentation Center (EKT) at the end of 2020.

With 60 percent of them planning to keeping workers operating remotely even after the COVID-19 pandemic, those who have digital skills will be better positioned for more and better job chances.

The survey showed that among the top priorities for most companies is the enhancement of their staff’s digital skills as well as the continuous improvement and development of new digital technology products, the strengthening of the supply chain and the implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions, the paper said.

The Amazon-OAED effort is part of Greece’s National Alliance for Digital Skills and Employment program with the country’s unemployment agency looking to expand into innovative technology corporations partnerships, already working with Google.

The implementation of another part of the program that was signed in October 2020 between OAED and Cisco Hellas, is getting under way, a program of Internet training to 1,000 registered unemployed people aged 18 years or over, titled Introduction to Cybersecurity, the report added.

That’s being done by Cisco Hellas to the unemployed for free in the context of its corporate social responsibility program and will be conducted through the Cisco Networking Academy’s online platform.

This training module has been designed for those interested in working in the information technology sector and is mainly focused on cybersecurity, a rapidly expanding field in the fight against hackers and corporate defenses.

Participants will gain a basic knowledge of the subject, learn about Internet security principles, various types of malware and cyberattacks and how corporations protect themselves from cyberattacks and job opportunities.

Participants will also have access to the community of the Cisco Networking Academy, where they will be able to contact students from other countries too.

Also in October, 2020 Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' push to get foreign companies paid off  with Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith in the Greek capital to announce plans for a near $1 billion investment, building three data centers as part of a cloud service.

The two appeared at the Acropolis Museum to reveal the plan that came after nine months of negotiations, the agreement also including digital skills training programs for 100,000 government workers, educators and students.

“This significant investment is a reflection of our confidence in the Greek economy, in the Greek people and the Greek government,” Smith said at a ceremony.

“It's not something we do often and it's not something that we do lightly. We could not have taken this step today without the help and support of the Greek government,” he said.

The pandemic showed the weakness of an economy whose biggest revenue provider was tourism, the sector devastated in 2020 and the government wanting other sources.

The Mitsotakis government is trying to diversity to other sectors, especially in energy, high technology and defense as well as try to lure back tens of thousands of the country's youngest and best and brightest who fled during the crisis.

Mitsotakis hailed the “significant, innovative investment,” adding that it would make Greece “a global hub for cloud computing,” the paper said, as he added the investment would boost the country as a destination for more companies and the effect would spill over into providers and small and medium-sized companies.


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