IBM Commits to Reskill 30 Million People Globally by 2030
London, United Kingdom, 13th October, 2021 - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled a groundbreaking commitment and global plan to provide 30 million people of all ages with new skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow by 2030. To achieve this goal, IBM is announcing a clear roadmap with 170 new academic and industry partnerships. This will leverage IBM’s existing programmes and career building platforms to expand access to education and in-demand technical roles.
To mark the commitment locally, IBM in the UK announced the West London-based Ada Lovelace High School has joined the company’s P-TECH programme - a revolutionary public education model launched to address the IT skills gap. Students will benefit from access to foundational knowledge on topics like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing, as well as professional skills like design thinking and agile.
“Talent is everywhere; training opportunities are not,” said Arvind Krishna, IBM Chairman and CEO. “This is why we must take big and bold steps to expand access to digital skills and employment opportunities so that more people – regardless of their background – can take advantage of the digital economy. Today, IBM commits to providing 30 million people with new skills by 2030. This will help democratize opportunity, fill the growing skills gap, and give new generations of workers the tools they need to build a better future for themselves and society.”
The difficulty employers worldwide face in finding skilled workers poses a significant hurdle to economic growth. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), closing the global skills gap could add US$11.5 trillion to global GDP by 2028. In the UK, nearly two in three (64%) report spending more on recruitment, with costs increasing by 49 per cent or £1.23 billion in total because of the skills shortage. In short, The UK skills shortage is costing organisations £6.3 billion.1
To help close the skills gap, according to the WEF, the public and private sectors need to collaborate on education and training that keeps pace with market demands, demographic changes, and technology progress.
A Programme for Everyone
With diverse offerings and an adaptable approach, IBM’s education portfolio strives to be unique and effective, reflecting IBM’s understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach simply does not work when it comes to education. IBM’s programs range from technical education for teens at brick-and-mortar public schools and universities, and extend to paid, on-site IBM internships and apprenticeships. The company’s skills and education programs also pair IBM mentorships with learners, and provide no-charge, customisable online curricula to aspiring professionals.
IBM’s plan to educate 30 million people relies on its broad combinations of programs, and includes collaborations with universities and key government entities - including employment agencies. Partnerships extend to NGOs as well, particularly those that focus on groups such as underserved youth, women, and military veterans. In general, IBM’s efforts mobilise the private sector across the globe to open and expand opportunity pathways for underrepresented and historically disadvantaged communities.
UK and Ireland examples include:
- In the UK, is working with The British Refugee Council - a leading UK charity supporting refugees and people seeking asylum - and Digital Innovators as IBM SkillsBuild for Jobseekers partners
- In Ireland IBM is working with Technology Ireland ICT, Business and Community Ireland and Fasttrack into IT
Said Martin Sundblad, Research Manager and Co-Lead, European Skills Practice at IDC, “The digital transformation has come to a point where it reaches into all processes, functions and job roles across enterprises and organisations, and the need for training becomes imperative for societies to adapt. Digital skills development, albeit in different scale and form, is now required throughout the education system, in most business functions, and within the IT professional community in order not to jeopardise the investments made. The IBM program has the size and reach that will support this transition.”
Dame Alice Hudson, Executive Headteacher of the Twyford Academies Trust, which includes Ada Lovelace High School, said: “We are delighted to be working with IBM on programmes to prepare students to be super-employable in an increasingly digital workplace. We share IBM’s vision of challenging young people to be agile and creative in applying skills to the job roles and challenges of the future.”
Sreeram Visvanathan, Chief Executive, IBM UK and Ireland said: “In this era of digital transformation, talent is our most valuable asset. The UK has a tremendous opportunity to lead the world in emerging industries and with innovations in Quantum, Clean Energy, Sustainability, Health Tech, Cyber Tech and more. Nurturing the next generation of tech talent is a common need across all those areas. IBM is committed to partnering with government, industry and academic institutions across the country to offer students the opportunity to learn digital skills. Together, we can develop the right skills for our digital economy and accelerate innovation to make a major contribution to our economy.”
Learn more about this commitment, and the stories of IBM skilling programs and participants, by going here.
About IBM & Education
IBM’s longstanding commitment to education has long been core to its corporate social responsibility initiatives. Ten years ago, IBM launched its P-TECH program, a revolutionary public education model designed to address the high-tech skills gap. Additionally, the company has created upskilling and reskilling programs for community members in every stage of their learning journeys. These teach technical skills for job roles that involve cybersecurity, quantum computing, cognitive AI, design thinking, and digital marketing. They also offer and human-centered professional workplace proficiencies for resume building, collaboration, presentation, time management – even mindfulness. IBM offers these with a mix of hands-on and virtual programs to reach people wherever they are globally.
1 Quantifying the UK Data Skills Gap – Gov.UK, Published 18 May 2021 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/quantifying-the-uk-data-skills-gap/quantifying-the-uk-data-skills-gap-full-report
UK External Relations