Markham ON June 17, 2021 – Today, IBM (NYSE: IBM), ManpowerGroup, and the Royal Alberta College (RAC), a not-for-profit educational institution based in Edmonton, have launched a collaboration using IBM SkillsBuild. The free digital training program helps adults develop valuable new skills and find jobs, regardless of their background or education with professional workplace readiness and technical skills and enables them to earn digital badges recognized by the market. The partnership will help make tech more diverse and inclusive, bringing in people with non-traditional education backgrounds.

“We are grateful to have an opportunity to work with IBM Canada. This alliance empowers our mission to create opportunities for underserved communities (and all Canadians) by providing high-quality, industry-led, accessible courses. The IBM SkillsBuild platform will allow learners to be agile, upskill, gain knowledge and participate in our growing economy,” said Perry Chahal, Executive Director and Lecturer, the Royal Alberta College.

In addition to the Royal Alberta College, IBM today announced a new collaboration with 30 global organizations, including governments, community colleges, non-profits, and employment agencies, focused on helping underserved populations improve their skills and employability.

“With advances in technology, there is a need to focus on improving the skills of Canadian workers that can help close the skills gap and improve employability,” said Jen Roynon, IBM Canada Corporate Social Responsibility Leader. “With IBM SkillsBuild, learners not only have access to skills development but also coaches or mentors who can guide and help them cultivate meaningful careers.”

These organizations will leverage the online learning program IBM SkillsBuild with their members, mostly underserved populations such as veterans, women, minorities, refugees, and unemployed young adults. The program is designed to empower job seekers within three to six months with professional workplace readiness and technical skills, earn badges and credentials recognized by the market, in local languages, and with personal mentoring.

In addition, ManpowerGroup the third-largest staffing firm in the world, plans to connect these job seekers to real career opportunities. ManpowerGroup’s Experis brand – global leaders in IT resourcing – will provide data-driven insight on the tech roles employers are seeking to fill, leveraging its experience developing talent and connecting people to positions in cloud and infrastructure, cybersecurity, data analysis, digital workspace and enterprise applications. ManpowerGroup’s Talent Agents will offer assessment, coaching and personalized support to help learners from organizations in this collaboration to access growth roles and build employability for the long-term.

This alliance will support IBM’s goal to skill 500,000 people by the end of the year through the IBM SkillsBuild program. In addition, the collaboration will also collectively seek to:

  • Provide 15,000 people with special program-based learning experiences, including personalized trainings, and the chance to apply for a job.
  • Connect the workforce with real career opportunities, including a commitment to secure 7,000 jobs across different industries.

Last year, IBM Canada partnered with two leading Canadian employment services organizations, ACCES Employment and Youth Employment Services (YES) to offer IBM SkillsBuild to jobseekers. In Canada, the open platform has already almost 2,000 learners who completed over 5,000 learning hours and were issued around 200 badges.

IBM SkillsBuild, available in five languages including English and French, and is open and accessible to individual job seekers across the country – all they need is an email address to register and get started at Skillsbuild.org.

“70% of employers can’t find the skills they need for roles like data analytics, software development and remote customer service,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO. “The only way we can address this acute talent shortage is through partnerships across business, government and education. That’s why we are pleased to partner with companies like IBM who share our mission to create a more skilled and diverse workforce, so everyone is able to have a more equitable share of prosperity.”

“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, VP, Social, Environmental Responsibility and Ethics at IDC

About The Royal Alberta College

The Royal Alberta College (RAC) is an Indigenous backed, volunteer-based, non-partisan, not-for-profit, industry-led, post-secondary vocational training school. The school was created through the guidance, support, and leadership of professionals from various occupations including survivors of residential schools and those that represent marginalized groups. The RAC offers accredited diploma programs, short-course certificates and career and life-skills training. Learn more http://alberta.college

About IBM SkillsBuild

IBM SkillsBuild is a free, digital training program that helps adults develop valuable new skills and find jobs, regardless of their background or education. It operates in 141 countries, offering over 10,000 courses on cybersecurity, data analysis, cloud computing and many other technical disciplines — as well as in workplace skills such as Design Thinking. Participants can earn IBM branded digital credentials and a global network of 90 nonprofit partners helps connect learners with local job opportunities. Most learners start with no experience and can be ready to apply for IT jobs within six months through participation in hands-on, project-based learning and mentoring support. As of May 2021, 215,275 people have joined IBM SkillsBuild since its launch and completed 341,000 learning hours.

Learn more at https://skillsbuild.org/

About IBM Canada

For more information about IBM Canada, visit: https://www.ibm.com/ca-en

Media contact:
Ruhee Dhar
IBM Canada
ruhee@ibm.com