IBM launches re-skill and connect workforce programme

IBM's goal is to help skill 500,000 people by the end of 2021 through the IBM SkillsBuild programme allowing learners to progress to in-demand roles.

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has announced a new collaboration with 30 global organisations including governments, community colleges, non-profits, and employment agencies, focused on helping underserved populations improve their skills and employability.

According to the World Economic Forum, closing the global skills gap could add US$11.5 trillion to global GDP by 2028, but education and training systems need to keep pace with market demands. In addition, as reflected in a new study from the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), job seekers are facing big challenges, and one in four consumers surveyed globally plan to switch employers in 2021.

"Closing the global skills gap is one of the most pressing issues of our time," said Arvind Krishna, IBM, Chairman and CEO. "That is why I'm proud of these collaborations, which will help people of all backgrounds acquire the skills they need to thrive in a fast-changing global economy."

The collaboration spans 12 countries and includes ActionAid Italia Onlus, The American Indian Foundation Trust, Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development, Argencon, Bay Area Community College Consortium (BACCC), Bruxelles Formation, Cité des Métiers, CSC Academy, CSRBOX, Edunet Foundation, Fondazione Human Age Institute, Fundación Konecta, Junior Achievement Americas, Junior Achievement Italy, Laboratoria, Mission Locale de Paris, Reacha Foundation, Tata Community Initiatives Trust, The Royal Alberta College, Technifutur®, Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet, Training Point, Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSİAD), Unnati Foundation, Uvi Jagriti Sansthan, VetsinTech, Jeevitam-VSS Tech Solutions Pvt Ltd, Workforce Development Inc., and 60 000 rebonds.

These organisations will leverage the online learning programme IBM SkillsBuild with their members, mostly underserved populations such as veterans, women, minorities, refugees, and unemployed young adults. The programme is designed to empower job seekers within 3-6 months with professional workplace readiness and technical skills, earn badges and credentials recognised by the market, in local languages, and with personal mentoring.

In addition, ManpowerGroup, a world leading workforce solutions company, plans to connect these job seekers to real career opportunities. ManpowerGroup's Experis brand - global leaders in IT resourcing - will provide data-driven insight on the tech roles employers are seeking to fill, leveraging its experience developing talent and connecting learners from these organisations to positions in cloud and infrastructure, cyber security, data analysis, digital workspace and enterprise applications. ManpowerGroup's Talent Agents will offer assessment, coaching and personalised support to help learners from organisations in this collaboration to access growth roles and build employability for the long-term.

This alliance will support IBM's goal to skill 500,000 people by the end of the year through the IBM SkillsBuild programme. In addition, the collaboration will also collectively seek to:

  • Provide 15,000 people with special programme-based learning experiences, including personalised trainings, and the chance to apply for a job.
  • Connect the workforce with real career opportunities, including a commitment to secure 7,000 jobs across different industries.

"70% of employers can't find the skills they need for roles like data analytics, software development and remote customer service," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO. "The only way we can address this acute talent shortage is through partnerships across business, government and education. That's why we are pleased to partner with companies like IBM who share our mission to create a more skilled and diverse workforce, so everyone is able to have a more equitable share of prosperity."

Curtis Price, VP, Social, Environmental Responsibility and Ethics at IDC added: "We are seeing an increased demand for new skills needed in future tech jobs like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data analytics, and cloud computing. IDC believes that the partnerships IBM has announced are essential to helping meet the demands for tech jobs of the future. However, the partnership with ManpowerGroup is a perfect complement to IBM SkillsBuild's mission of providing training for to underrepresented groups as it provides meaningful career opportunities to badged IBM SkillsBuild participants."

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