When it comes to skilling and preparing a workforce for new-age technologies like Artificial Intellignece (AI), robotics, Big Data and IoT, IBM is working with some of the state governments via skill development centres. At its recent Think Forum event in Mumbai held early this week, IBM’s Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty said that the company in collaboration with the Ministry of Skill Development will be launching two diploma courses to make the next generation skilled enough to take up future jobs that will be dominated by augmented intelligence, cognitive intelligence, cloud computing and blockchain.

Rometty said the courses, a two-year diploma, will be introduced in the ITIs in Bengaluru and Hyderabad to start with this year and later on would be expanded to other towns and cities. Approved by NCVT (National Council for Vocational Training) as a Level 6 NSQF program, this course will deeply focus on creating a workforce which meets industry’s evolving skill needs. The modules will include a holistic approach such as partnering with the industry, adopting new learning technologies and delivering experience-based, applied learning.

“Technology continues to be a key transformational lever not just for India, but for countries across the world. Our collaboration with MSDE reiterates IBM’s deep commitment to up-skilling India in this era of digital inclusion. As a part of this Advanced Diploma, we are working closely with the government and academia to expand and scale these programs. IBM strongly believes that such industry and government partnerships can go a long way in tapping the immense potential that India’s young and vibrant workforce has,” said Chaitanya Sreenivas, Vice President and HR Head, IBM India Pvt. Ltd.

IBM also announced a collaboration with the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) to spur emerging technology skills in the domestic telecom industry. IBM’s student developers’ program (career education) that infuses software capabilities that are industry-specific and market-relevant has helped more than 24,000 students and faculty members develop industry-relevant software capabilities.

Last year, Rometty had said that IBM will shortlist 50 universities in India in a bid to ensure that they impart curriculum suited to the changing needs of the technology industry. The US tech major is also ramping up research & development in India to customise and localise its flagship cognitive technology platform Watson. She had also said that IBM was also looking at how to adapt its Pathways to Technology (Ptech — a program launched in the US) to India.

It skilling is one of the key priorities in the country at the moment. Even though there is a lot of buzz around it, a recent report by The World Economic Forum shows that India needs to upgrade education curricula, revamp vocational training programs and improve digital skills. The WEF Global Manufacturing Index puts India on the 30th position, listing human capital and sustainable resources as the two key challenges for the country.

The central government has already begun the process of training 10 million potential jobseekers by 2020 under its Skill India Mission, but the dearth of quality trainers, inadequacies in training programs and high dropout rates remain hurdles to skill development. Nonetheless, companies such as IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, Google and Schneider Electric, among others are putting in their best efforts to step up skill development efforts across the country. – CXO Today


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