IBM Commits to Skill 30 Million People Globally by 2030

The company announces more than 170 new partnerships and program expansions in more than 30 countries across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa
IBM Australia celebrates skills partnerships across the country from Ballarat in Victoria through to the Central Coast of New South Wales and signals more partnerships in the pipeline.
Oct 13, 2021

ARMONK, N.Y., October 13th, 2021 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled a groundbreaking commitment and global plan to provide 30 million people of all ages with new skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow by 2030. To achieve this goal, IBM is announcing a clear roadmap with more than 170 new academic and industry partnerships. The effort will leverage IBM’s existing programs and career building platforms to expand access to education and in-demand technical roles. 

“Talent is everywhere; training opportunities are not,” said Arvind Krishna, IBM Chairman and CEO. “This is why we must take big and bold steps to expand access to digital skills and employment opportunities so that more people – regardless of their background – can take advantage of the digital economy. Today, IBM commits to providing 30 million people with new skills by 2030. This will help democratize opportunity, fill the growing skills gap, and give new generations of workers the tools they need to build a better future for themselves and society.”

The difficulty employers worldwide face in finding skilled workers poses a significant hurdle to economic growth. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), closing the global skills gap could add US$11.5 trillion to global GDP by 2028. To help do so, according to the WEF, the public and private sectors need to collaborate on education and training that keeps pace with market demands, demographic changes, and technology progress.

Addressing the need to transform the higher-learning pedagogy in Australia, more than 56 universities and higher-learning institutions across Australia and New Zealand are leveraging courseware and software from the IBM Academic Initiative portal which is offered at no-charge to students and faculty members.   

IBM’s P-TECH initiative in Australia also supports this goal. Currently available in 16 schools across the country, P-TECH is a collaboration with industry and public education, working closely with individual schools to ensure students develop the skills required for 21st century jobs. More than 3000 students to date have experienced the program that is supported by 52 industry partners across Australia. 

IBM Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Katrina Troughton says the digital skills crisis in Australia demands new ways of approaching skilling and hiring – and it requires tapping into new pools of potential.

“Businesses and governments are struggling to find the people they need to fill jobs in key areas such as cloud, AI and security. Many individuals want to take up these high-value roles but don’t have the qualifications,” said Ms Troughton. “IBM is creating a bridge of opportunity between the two by making it easier for individuals to quickly acquire the skills they need to move into technology roles.”

Ms Troughton added, “Whether people come from traditional education pathways, are looking to change careers, or need an alternative way in – we are making digital skills training more widely accessible across Australia to create the digitally-skilled workforce Australia must have for sustained economic growth and recovery.

“This year alone IBM has hired six P-TECH students from one of its first P-TECH schools located in Ballarat, who are now working in critical areas including cyber security. We also look forward to expanding our partnership networks in the months ahead to scale the access and impact of our skills programs.”

A Program for Everyone

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, and extend to paid, on-site IBM internships and apprenticeships. The company’s skills and education programs also pair IBM mentorships with learners, and provide no-charge, customizable online curricula to aspiring professionals.

IBM’s plan to educate 30 million people relies on its broad combinations of programs, and includes 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. 

Examples include:

  • A partnership with the not-for-profit Soldier On to give veterans and their families a pathway into technology careers. We do this by providing access to IBM’s digital skills platform SkillsBuild alongside mentoring support.  
  • Partnership with Indigenous charity, Barayamal, to support and drive Indigenous entrepreneurship in the technology sector.
  • Collaboration with Federation University Australia to develop Australia’s first Cognitive Enterprise degree, a business degree that uses disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and blockchain to support next-generation business models. 

Martin Sundblad, Research Manager and Co-Lead, European Skills Practice at IDC, said “The digital transformation has come to a point where it reaches into all processes, functions and job roles across enterprises and organizations, and the need for training becomes imperative for societies to adapt. Digital skills development, albeit in different scale and form, is now required throughout the education system, in most business functions, and within the IT professional community in order not to jeopardize the investments made. The IBM program has the size and reach that will support this transition.”


Learn more about this commitment, and the stories of IBM skilling programs and participants, by going here.

For more information please contact:
Mehpara Khan, Corporate Communications – IBM Australia and New Zealand 
Mobile: +64 21 375 748  or Email:

For editors:

By the numbers:  

  • 30 million people globally will be reskilled and upskilled by IBM by 2030  
  • 170 new partnerships and programs make up the roadmap to achieving this target which is in addition to existing partnerships and programs
  • 56 universities and higher-learning institutions across Australia and New Zealand are leveraging courseware and software from the IBM Academic Initiative portal 
  • In Australia, IBM has launched 16 P-TECH Schools across the country in collaboration with 54 industry partners   
  • More than 3000 students have experienced the P-Tech programme in Australia  
  • 6 students have been hired by from the P-Tech programme in 2021.  

Full List of Australian P-TECH schools as of September 2021: 

  1. Newcomb College, Geelong 
  2. Federation College, Ballarat 
  3. Cecil Andrews High School, Perth
  4. St Patrick’s Technical College, Northern Adelaide 
  5. Wyong High School, Wyong 
  6. Hunter River High School, Port Stephens 
  7. Penola Catholic College (previously McCarthy College), Emu Plains 
  8. TECH NQ, Townsville
  9. Burnie High School,, Burnie
  10. Casuarina Senior College, Darwin
  11. Aviation High School, Brisbane
  12. Camberwell High School, Melbourne
  13. Joseph Banks Secondary College, Northern Perth 
  14. Henry Kendall High School, Gosford
  15. Kariong Mountains High School, Kariong Mountains
  16. Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, Tumbi Umbi campus 

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