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 New Zealand’s P-TECH programme looks to enter its third year with almost 50% of its cohort from Māori or Pasifika backgrounds.
Oct 13, 2021

ARMONK, N.Y., October 13th, 2021 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled a ground-breaking 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.

IBM New Zealand Country Manager David Hook says IBM believes equal access to digital skills and technology careers is necessary in tackling digital skills shortages for the industry and for economic growth. Currently there are more than 98,000 workers in IT occupations across all sectors in New Zealand, but only 27% are female, 4% are Māori and 2.8% are Pasifika
“With the pace of change in technology and now the pandemic, we need to provide new ways for people to gain digital skills quickly. Our industry needs to think more laterally about where to find the people they need to fill roles in important new areas like cloud, AI and security and create opportunities for them. This requires a new approach to skilling – one that prioritises capability over credentials,” he said. 

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 programmes also pair IBM mentorships with learners, and provide no-charge, customisable online curricula to aspiring professionals. 

IBM’s Pathways to Technology (P-TECH) initiative in New Zealand is one such programme and is being delivered as a collaboration between IBM and industry partners including The Warehouse Group and the Manukau Institute of Technology. The programme also works closely with individual schools to ensure students develop the skills required for 21st century jobs.

Now in its second year in New Zealand, P-TECH is being offered in Manurewa High School and Aorere College in South Auckland and has almost 100 students enrolled.

Almost 30% of these students are Māori and almost 20% are Pasifika students, which is approximately seven times the current percentages of Māori and Pasifika represented in the industry.

The programme charts a five-year pathway for students into technology careers which begins in Year 10. Within this time students earn NCEA Level 1 to 3, and two diplomas – a Diploma in Information Technology Technical Support and a Diploma in Systems administration from MIT, alongside internship opportunities with either IBM or The Warehouse Group. This approach ensures that students leave school ready to be hired or extend their studies. 

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 or to arrange an interview please contact:

Mehpara Khan
Corporate Communications
IBM Australia and New Zealand
Mobile: 021 375 748

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
  • 96 students are enrolled in P-TECH in New Zealand in two South Auckland schools – Manurewa High School and Aorere College
  • 28% of enrolled students are Maori and 19% are Pasifika.
  • Of the 98,000 workers currently in IT occupations across all sectors in New Zealand, only 4% are Māori and 2.8% are Pasifika (Digital Skills Aotearoa -Digital Skills For Our Digital Future 2021)

About IBM & Education 

IBM’s longstanding commitment to education has long been core to its corporate social responsibility initiatives. Ten years ago, IBM launched its P-TECH program, a revolutionary public education model designed to address the high-tech skills gap. Additionally, the company has created upskilling and reskilling programs for community members in every stage of their learning journeys. These teach technical skills for job roles that involve cybersecurity, quantum computing, cognitive AI, design thinking, and digital marketing. They also offer and human-centered professional workplace proficiencies for resume building, collaboration, presentation, time management – even mindfulness. IBM offers these with a mix of hands-on and virtual programs to reach people wherever they are globally. 

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