In an effort to address the current skills gap in the country, global technology provider, IBM has unveiled its SkillsBuild Reignite program to provide job seekers and entrepreneurs with access to free online coursework and mentoring support, designed to help them reinvent their careers and businesses.
According to the India Skill Report (2019), only 45.6% of the youth graduating from educational institutions are employable. This reflects the massive shortage of skilled workforce in the country.
IBM says that with its new program, job seekers, business owners, entrepreneurs and any individual with learning aspirations can now tap into a host of industry-relevant content, including Artificial intelligence, Cloud, Data analytics, and security to reskill and upskill themselves, at no cost.
In November 2019, IBM India, in partnership with Directorate General of Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India, and its implementation partners made the SkillsBuild online learning platform available to Indian students.
Digital classrooms on this platform are being made available from the Industrial Training Institutes, ITI, and technical education ecosystem in India.
Currently, the platform has benefited 14,135 learners who have completed 40,000 courses and 77,000 hours of e-learning. SkillsBuild is rated as one of India’s Top 10 online learning platforms by the National Skills Network.
Beginning today, SkillsBuild Reignite will include more coursework and personalized coaching for entrepreneurs seeking advice to help establish or restart their small businesses as they focus on recovering from the COVID 19 pandemic. Courses include financial management, business strategy, digital strategy, legal support and more.
Working with NGOs such as Edunet and Unnati Foundation amongst other new IBM partners will play a key role in addressing local needs. For example, entrepreneurs looking to create detailed plans to re-launch their business can work with mentors to refine market research, learn about tapping into economic development assistance or improve digital marketing.
IBM also announced the SkillsBuild Innovation camp today. The ten-week camp is open to learners who are interested in gaining hands-on project experience to enhance learning and who are intent on building their network to increase employability.
Participants in the camp will get an opportunity to work as part of a diverse team on real-world challenges and learn new skills along the way. With the aid of expert facilitators, students will be guided through the design thinking process and learn strategic methods to craft their problem statement, ideate creatively, solve complex problems and tell compelling stories. The camp concludes with a pitch to stakeholders and potential employers or investors.
Congratulating DGT and IBM India for their collaborative efforts to bridge the skills gap in the country through this initiative, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said, “Today, we mark a significant milestone in supporting Centre’s efforts in accelerating Indian economy’s revival from the adverse effects of COVID with the launch of SkillsBuild Reignite and Innovation Camp, in collaboration with IBM India. In line with our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Skill India Mission and New Digital India, the Ministry has been working relentlessly to strengthen the skilling ecosystem and leverage the rise in demand for new-age skills by expanding industry cross-collaboration and creating learning pathways through digital learning platforms.
IBM’s expertise in providing multifaceted digital skill training in the area of Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will strengthen our efforts in the recovery of local workforces, communities and economies by supporting job seekers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.”
“There is a need to shift the needle and focus on new technologies and changing skill requirements to bridge the skill gap. It’s important that we align the workforce to industry needs and technology shifts. The SkillsBuild Reignite platform helps equip job seekers with digital, professional skills and relevant training to re-enter the workforce. Not only does this platform provides career reinvention opportunities but also innovative ways of working and individualized support for relaunching business strategies,” said Sandip Patel, General Manager, IBM India/South Asia.