Toronto, CANADA – Today, IBM, (NYSE: IBM) and non-profit organization ACCES Employment launch a collaboration using the SkillsBuild platform, making custom courses, projects, and personalized coaching available to over 35,000 Canadians looking to re-skill and get new jobs. TD Bank Group, via its global corporate citizenship, the TD Ready Commitment, is lending additional support to this collaboration to fund programs that help women and newcomer IT professionals find career success in Canada.

The IBM SkillsBuild platform will also be used by Youth Employment Services (YES) a Canadian youth employment leader that serves and empowers thousands of disadvantaged and vulnerable youth to develop skills in digital literacy and cloud computing.

IBM is also extending the SkillsBuild platform—named SkillsBuild Reignite--for job seekers looking to take courses for free online and without first establishing a relationship with a not-for-profit organization, helping to find new jobs in high growth sectors like web development, artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity.

According to a Statistics Canada report earlier this month, Canada added nearly one million jobs in June, but there are still close to two million fewer jobs today than there were pre-COVID. The platform, available in English and French, will provide over 7,000 courses designed to help Canadians develop vital professional skills, gain practical real-life experience and build their career.

About SkillsBuild

  • IBM is partnering with ACCES Employment, a leading employment services organization in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that assists job seekers from diverse backgrounds who are facing barriers to employment to integrate into the Canadian job market.
  • Supported by IBM and TD Bank Group, ACCES Employment will use the SkillsBuild platform to deliver an integrated set of courses, projects and personalized coaching to Canadians looking for work.
  • IBM is also partnering with YES, the Canadian youth employment leader who offers innovative programs to empower disadvantaged and vulnerable youth.
  • SkillsBuild is traditionally offered in cooperation with local non-profit organizations in over 15 countries with 30,000 users.
  • More information found here.

About SkillsBuild Reignite

  • SkillsBuild Reignite is an open and accessible version of SkillsBuild that is designed for all individuals, business owners and entrepreneurs who are not affiliated with a non-profit organization as they focus on economic recovery.
  • This platform gives users an opportunity to take online courses to gain digital and professional skills, learn more about business and digital strategy, and hear from experts on how to succeed in a digital job interview.
  • Entrepreneurs can seek advice that will help establish or restart their small business, learn about tapping into economic development assistance, or improve their digital marketing skills.
  • More information found here.

“Some of the greatest challenges facing businesses today need skills that don’t require a traditional degree. There is a critical need to make sure Canadians are gaining these meaningful skills that align to industry needs,” said Claude Guay, IBM Canada President and General Manager. “That’s why, regardless of background, education or life experience, SkillsBuild will equip learners with the professional skills and mentorship they need to navigate the new digital economy.”

“In the current COVID-19 pandemic, quality training and learning options that are immediately available will greatly contribute to the success of jobseekers and Canadians looking for work in different industries,” shares Allison Pond, President/CEO, ACCES Employment. “We are excited to partner with IBM and TD Bank Group on this initiative. Together, we will be able to provide a range of learning opportunities to enhance the skills and employability of ACCES jobseekers.”

“It’s critical training programs adapt to the ‘future of work’ to ensure long term employment and prosperity for youth, especially our most vulnerable,” says Timothy Lang, President & CEO at YES- Youth Employment Services. “The YES-IBM partnership will have an immediate impact and prepare tens of thousands of youth YES serves annually for long lasting careers and help change lives…forever.”

In addition to the partnership with ACCES Employment and YES – Youth Employment Services, IBM is working with organizations across Canada to reignite the economy, including through the newly redesigned IBM Service Corps program which provides teams of 12-15 IBM employees with a leave of absence to help non-profits and civic leaders address complex and high priority issues in education and economic development. Since 2008, the IBM Service Corps program has sent more than 4,000 employees to support more than 1,400 projects in over 40 countries.

For more information about SkillsBuild for non-profits: http://skillsbuild.org

For more information about SkillsBuild ReIgnite: https://www.skillsbuild.org/reignite

For more information about IBM Service Corps: https://www.ibm.org/initiatives/ibm-service-corps

Media Contact:

Alicia Ali
IBM Canada, External Communications
Alicia.Ali@ibm.com