RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM wants to train 30 million people globally, the company announced this week.

The company said in a statement that it will work toward that mark through existing programs, 170 new academic and industry partnerships, and its existing career-building platforms.

An existing partnership through which IBM is providing skills training programs is with an organization based in Wake County, the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, or CAWD.

The partnership between CAWD and IBM SkillsBuild began earlier this year.

In March, the program between the two organizations “went live,” said Pat E. Sturdivant, the executive director for CAWD.  According to Sturdivant, since launching the partnership, 1,148 people have registered for IBM SkillsBuild, with 2,470 learning hours completed.

So far, 28 learning badges, which are IBM SkillsBuild certifications, according to Sturdivant, have been earned by participants.

The program is provided at no cost to participants, said Sturdivant.

IBM, Capital Area Workforce Development to offer job skills training – at no cost

“IBM SkillsBuild has been well received,” said Sturdivant.  “Individuals that do not possess rudimentary IT backgrounds have found the IBM SkillsBuild platform to be helpful in gaining foundational knowledge within high-demand industries.

Though the programs through IBM SkillsBuild are “primarily composed of digital-based learning material,” Sturdivant said, participants involved in the program do have access to developing skills in other areas that pertain to employment, such as resume building, job interviewing, and others.

“Overall, the platform offers individuals the opportunity to expand their skillsets, becoming more attractive in highly competitive industries,” said Sturdivant.

Which is critical, not just for individuals, but for the world’s global economy,

the World Economic Forum (WEF) found in a report.  According to the WEF, closing the global skills gap could add $11.5 trillion (in USD) to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2028.

“Talent is everywhere; training opportunities are not,” said Arvind Krishna, IBM Chairman and CEO in a statement announcing the company’s commitment and its new partnerships.  “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.

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