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IBM vows to equip 30 million people with skills 

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IBM 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 more than 170 new academic and industry partnerships. The effort will leverage IBM’s existing programs and career building platforms to expand access to education and in-demand technical roles.  

“The pandemic has spurred the speed of technology adoption, giving rise to the demand for new skills, jobs, roles at the forefront of the data and AI economy. IBM sees the need to collaborate with government and academic institutions to equip the future human-led and technology-enabled workforce of our country with both disruptive technical skills, specialized industry skills and core business skills, to remain competitive," said Aileen Judan-Jiao, President and Country General Manager of IBM Philippines.

“Today’s collaboration with The Department of Education National Capital Region Public Schools in bridging digital talent gap will help Filipino students improve the skills and employability, facilitating their access to and transitions in the marketplace as our country continues to be a rich human capital of the world,” added Aileen.

Employers around the world emphasize the importance – and difficulty – of finding skilled workers, posing a significant hurdle to economic growth. In the Philippines, the BPO sector, for example, doesn’t suffer from a workforce shortage, but many graduates are not skilled enough for jobs at BPO firms. According to Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the sector, which is a key economic driver of the country, grew by around 1.8 percent in terms of manpower and 1.4 percent in terms of revenue last year, despite the pandemic. As new technology enables the sector to move up the value chain, the shift to higher-level skills will continue. By 2022, as reported by Frost & Sullivan, 73 percent of jobs in the IT-BPM industry will require mid- to high-level skills1.

A Program 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, customizable 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 mobilize the private sector across the globe to open and expand opportunity pathways for underrepresented and historically disadvantaged communities.  

In the Philippines, IBM is working with the Department of Education National Capital Region (DepEd-NCR), through the Philippine Business for Social Progress, to expand the adoption of four to six-year and cost-free P-TECH school model across the national capital region. In the school year 2021-2022, DepEd-NCR senior high schools will also be utilizing IBM’s free digital learning platform SkillsBuild for their students and teachers, providing learners with industry-recognized content and badges on emerging technologies and 21st century skills such as design thinking, coding and programming, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and more.

“As we navigate through the challenges of today’s skills marketplace, the collaboration with technology leaders like IBM will provide strategic learning platforms to empower the Filipino students with the right skills and knowledge. Enabling our workforce to realize their full potential and equipping them with the right mix of skills for the future of work is vital as digital economy in the Philippines continues to gain ground,” said Wilfredo E. Cabral, Regional Director of Philippines’ Department of Education National Capital Region.


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