IBM will reskill 30 million people for future technology jobs by 2030

It will be done via 170 new partnerships and program expansions in more than 30 countries across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
21 October 2021

IBM aims to reskill 30 million people by 2030 for future technology jobs. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP)

  • IBM wants to provide 30 million people of all ages with new skills needed for technology jobs of tomorrow by 2030
  • It would be leveraged on IBM’s existing programs and career-building platforms

In the next decade, 30 million people around the world would be equipped with the skills required for the ever-evolving technology jobs of tomorrow, thanks to the American tech juggernaut IBM. The company recently announced its intention to train people of all ages with new skills needed for emerging technology jobs that might be in demand in 2030.

For IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna, “talent is everywhere; training opportunities are not.” This is why, he reckons, IBM 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.

IBM went on to announce 170 new partnerships and program expansions in more than 30 countries across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa, in an effort to reach its goal. “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,” Krishna said.

Global skills gap

The dilemma around the world now is that companies are struggling to find the right people to fill a variety of vacancies. The widening “skills gap” is a problem that is fast becoming a global crisis. Closing the global skills gap could add US$11.5 trillion to the global GDP by 2028, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). To help do so, WEF said the public and private sectors need to collaborate on education and training that keeps pace with market demands, demographic changes, and technological progress.

A program for the technology jobs of tomorrow

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. In fact, IBM said “partnerships extend to NGOs as well, particularly those that focus on groups such as underserved youth, women, and military veterans.”

IBM’s efforts mobilize the private sector across the globe to open and expand opportunity pathways for underrepresented and historically disadvantaged communities. As an example in the US, IBM will expand partnerships with several new partners, including Workforce Development Inc, National Association for Community College Entrepreneurships (NACCE), and OHUB, offering training on the IBM SkillsBuild platform to successfully upskill, reskill, and best prepare the workforce for the future of work.

Then there is also working with War Child to provide STEM career readiness for women who have escaped war in Sweden, whereas in Nigeria, IBM partnered with Coca-Cola HBC to train young people on workplace readiness skills and interpersonal skills. To upskill youth from across India, IBM is collaborating with the Haryana State Board of Technical Education and the Uttar Pradesh State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT).

IDC Research Manager and Co-Lead for European Skills Practice, Martin Sundblad, believes that “The digital transformation has come to a point where it reaches into all processes, functions and job roles across enterprises and organizations, and the need for training becomes imperative for societies to adapt.” 

He too acknowledged that digital skills development, albeit in a different scale and form, will now be required throughout the education system, in most business functions, and within the IT professional community in order not to jeopardize the investments made. “The IBM program has the size and reach that will support this transition,” he said.