IBM will be joining 30 global organizations including governments, community colleges, non-profits, and employment agencies to connect with underserved populations and give them the necessary skills to join today’s workforce. 

According to the company, in order to close the current global skills gap, education and training systems need to evolve along with market demands. 

As part of its new collaboration, global organizations will leverage IBM SkillsBuild, an online learning program designed to get job seekers ready for the professional workforce within three to six months. It will offer technical skills, badges, and credentials recognized by the market. It will focus on underserved populations such as veterans, women, minorities, refugees, and unemployed young adults.

“Closing the global skills gap is one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Arvind Krishna, chairman and CEO of IBM. “That is why I’m proud of these collaborations, which will help people of all backgrounds acquire the skills they need to thrive in a fast-changing global economy.”

The company also announced that the workforce solutions company ManpowerGroup will work to connect with these job seekers to offer real career opportunities in cloud and infrastructure, cybersecurity, data analysis, digital workspace and enterprise application positions. In addition, ManpowerGroup will provide assessment, coaching and personalized support through its talent agents. 

Through these efforts, IBM hopes to re-skill 500,000 people by the end of the year; provide 15,00 people with special program-based learning experiences; and secure 7,000 jobs across different industries. 

“We are seeing an increased demand for new skills needed in future tech jobs like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data analytics, and cloud computing. IDC believes that the partnerships IBM has announced are essential to helping meet the demands for tech jobs of the future. However, the partnership with ManpowerGroup is a perfect complement to IBM SkillsBuild’s mission of providing training for to underrepresented groups as it provides meaningful career opportunities to badged IBM SkillsBuild participants,” said Curtis Price, vice president of Social, Environmental Responsibility and Ethics at IDC.