Essential skills for the future
“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,” explains Aileen Judan-Jiao, president and country general manager of IBM Philippines. “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.”
On October 15, 2021, IBM unveiled a groundbreaking commitment to provide 30 million people of all ages with new skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow, by 2030. In order to achieve this global plan, IBM announced a clear roadmap with more than 170 new academic and industrial partnerships. The effort will leverage IBM’s existing programs and career building platforms to expand access to education and in-demand technical roles.
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. Employers around the world emphasize the importance and difficulty of finding skilled workers, posing a significant hurdle to economic growth. 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 skills.
“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,” says Aileen.
IBM’s plan to educate 30 million people relies on its broad combinations of programs, 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.
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 – with extend to paid on-site IBM internships and apprenticeships. The company’s skills and education programs will also be paired with IBM mentorships with learners, customizable online curricula to aspiring professionals with no charge.
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 much more.
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 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.
“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,” says Wilfredo Cabral, regional director for DepEd-NCR. “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.”
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