Partnering for public good: AWS Partner Network steps up to support Australian governments during a time of crisis

Faethm, TeamPublished on 17 July 2020

When Michael Priddis and Greg Miller began building their analytics platform, Faethm, they wanted to create a machine learning (ML) model that could predict the impact of technology trends on the workforce. That model has grown to encompass more than 5,000 job families, and includes 244 skills and abilities and 20,000 job tasks. This enables Faethm to forecast how new technologies will impact future workforce requirements. The Sydney-based company’s model is now used by more than 100 customers around the world, across 20 industries, to help them plan and train their workforces.

But as the COVID-19 crisis began to unfold, Miller said it was clear that the pandemic would have a hugely disruptive impact on the labour market. In February 2020, the data science team at Faethm began building a new model to predict COVID-19’s effect on workforce skills requirements, evaluating factors such as the degree to which a job could be completed from home and the levels of human interaction risk to determine the severity of the impact of COVID-19 on workers.

“By identifying high-human-interaction jobs, which cannot be done remotely, employers can focus their attention on ensuring all measures are in place to prevent the spread of infection,” Miller says.

By late March, it was ready and made available to customers free of charge. Miller said it had since been adopted by over 40 customers to assess their workforce requirements and how they should reskill and redeploy employees in response to COVID-19.

Two state governments have adopted Faethm to better understand the impact of COVID-19 across the entire state workforce.

“Our government customers have licenced Faethm to assess the entire workforce of their state so they can understand the impact of COVID-19 on different industries, and how that changes return to work policies,” Miller said. “They are looking at how they can transition people from industries that have been impacted, to those that will need skills.”

Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, Miller said the public sector represented the largest group in Faethm’s client base, which includes other Australian government agencies, such as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The power of Faethm’s platform is being recognised globally, with uptake from the Government of the United Kingdom. More recently, the team was asked to join the World Economic Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, aligning themselves with a global network to co-design and pilot innovative new approaches to policy and governance. Faethm’s model has also been used by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the basis for a report on COVID-19’s impact on the US workforce.

Miller said Faethm’s relationship with AWS had been essential in helping the business double in size every two years and proved critical in building its new model for COVID-19 quickly.

“AWS has enabled us to hit a global scale with a lean team, focusing on delivering functionality rather than building out and managing infrastructure,” Miller says.

With offices now established in London and San Francisco, Miller said Faethm has benefitted greatly from having on the ground support from AWS, as well as being able to host client data on local infrastructure. This has proven especially beneficial in Europe, as it allowed Faethm to remain compliant with local data residency requirements.

“Our ability to grow in Australia and around the world has been enabled by our decision to work with AWS and the scalability that it provides us,” he said.

Source: Amazon Blog dayone.

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