IBM Commits to Train 2 Million in Artificial Intelligence in Three Years, with a Focus on Underrepresented Communities

•Learners will benefit from a new generative AI course roadmap and collaborations with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) worldwide.
•Dublin City University (DCU) and Fast Track into Information Technology (FIT) are the first partners to lead the initiative in Ireland
Nov 22, 2023

DUBLIN, 22 November, 2023 - To help close the global artificial intelligence (AI) skills gap, today IBM announced a commitment to train two million learners in AI by the end of 2026, with a focus on underrepresented communities. To achieve this goal at a global scale, IBM is expanding AI education collaborations with universities globally, collaborating with partners to deliver AI training to adult learners, and launching new generative AI coursework through IBM SkillsBuild. This will expand upon IBM's existing programs and career-building platforms to offer enhanced access to AI education and in-demand technical roles. 

According to a recent global study conducted by IBM Institute of Business Value, surveyed executives estimate that implementing AI and automation will require 40% of their workforce to reskill over the next three years, mostly those in entry-level positions. This further reinforces that generative AI is creating a demand for new roles and skills.

Deborah Threadgold, Country General Manager, IBM Ireland said: “As Ireland’s National AI Strategy recognises, providing workers with the right skills for AI jobs must go hand-in-hand with a much wider skills agenda, to ensure that everyone in society can benefit from the digital transformation that AI will bring. This should include a wide range of AI and digital courses across secondary, further and higher education, and raising the level of digital skills amongst the general public. That's why we are investing in AI training, with a commitment to reach two million learners in three years, and expanding IBM SkillsBuild to collaborate with universities and nonprofits on new generative AI education for learners all over the world.”

Peter Davitt, Chief Executive Officer of Fast Track into Information Technology (FIT) added: “During the past twelve months, FIT has seen Ireland's education system and business community interface with generative AI solutions, posing some challenges and promising future growth. FIT looks forward to complimenting the Tech Apprenticeships and broader provision with IBM AI course content.”

AI training for universities

IBM is collaborating with universities at a global level to build capacity around AI leveraging IBM’s network of experts. University faculty will have access to IBM-led training such as lectures and immersive skilling experiences, including certificates upon completion. Also, IBM will provide courseware for faculty to use in the classroom, including self-directed AI learning paths. In addition to faculty training, IBM will offer students flexible and adaptable resources, including free, online courses on generative AI and Red Hat open source technologies.

Professor Theo Lynn, DCU Business School, commented: “Ireland is emerging as a significant player in AI worldwide and the government has set out ambitious goals for 75% of all enterprises to be using AI, cloud and big data by 2030.  We are delighted to be the first university in Ireland to incorporate the IBM SkillsBuild generative AI learning and teaching resources into our business analytics modules for this Academic Year and extend our use of IBM SkillsBuild in postgraduate business analytics programmes. By integrating IBM SkillsBuild into our modules, faculty and students have access to training, coursework, resources, and certification to ensure that they are ahead of the curve when it comes to the opportunities presented by AI, Data Science, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity and Enterprise Design Thinking.”

Roadmap of new, free course offerings in generative AI

Through IBM SkillsBuild, learners across the world can benefit from AI education developed by IBM experts to provide the latest in cutting edge technology developments. IBM SkillsBuild already offers free coursework in AI fundamentals, chatbots, and crucial topics such as AI ethics. The new generative AI roadmap includes coursework and enhanced features.  

  • Coursework includes Prompt-Writing, Getting Started with Machine Learning, Improving Customer Service with AI, and Generative AI in Action.
  • AI-enhanced features within the IBM SkillsBuild learning experience will include chatbot improvements to help support learners throughout their journeys, and tailored learning paths based on each learner’s personal preferences and experiences. 

These courses are all completely free and available to learners around the world. At course completion, participants will be able to earn IBM-branded digital credentials that are recognized by potential employers.

AI Collaborations Around the World   
Training, like the courses offered through IBM SkillsBuild, is made more effective through the expertise of academic and nonprofit partners in local communities, many of which focus on communities that are underrepresented in technology.  Community partners enrich course content through project-based learning and connect learners with real career opportunities. To that end, IBM plans to announce a set of new collaborations around AI in the upcoming months at a global level.

This new effort builds on IBM’s existing commitment to skill 30 million people by 2030, and is intended to address the urgent needs facing today’s workforce. Since 2021, over 7 million learners have enrolled in IBM courses. Worldwide, the skills gap presents a major obstacle to the successful application of AI and digitalization, across industries, and beyond technology experts. This requires a comprehensive world view to be developed and implemented. IBM’s legacy of investing in the future of work includes making free online learning widely available, with clear pathways to employment, and a focus on historically underrepresented communities in tech, where the skills gap is wider. 

About IBM SkillsBuild
IBM SkillsBuild is a free education program focused on underrepresented communities in tech, that helps adult learners, and high school and university students and faculty, develop valuable new skills and access career opportunities. The program includes an online platform that is complemented by customized practical learning experiences delivered in collaboration with a global network of partners.

The open version of IBM SkillsBuild is an online platform which offers over 1,000 courses in 20 languages on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data analysis, cloud computing and many other technical disciplines — as well as in workplace skills such as Design Thinking. Most important, participants can earn IBM-branded digital credentials that are recognized by the market.

The enhanced partner version of IBM SkillsBuild may also include workshops, expert conversations with IBM coaches and mentors, project-based learning, access to IBM software, specialized support from partners through the learning process, and connection to career opportunities.


Media Contact:
John Galvez
UK Communications Mobile: 07734-104275

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