Jessica Fino 25 Jan 2018 09:56am

IT industry skills platform to reskill one million workers

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has launched an IT industry skills platform in partnership with PwC, aiming to reach one million workers worldwide

The SkillSET initiative intends to combat the global skills gap and help reduce the risk of job displacement arising from automation.

It aims to reach its target by January 2021 by using PwC’s skills assessment development, the WEF announced at its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland yesterday.

The platform, expected to become available in April, will be free and include online tools specifically aimed at reskilling adults.

Users will have access to global IT companies’ training materials, that will cover subjects from general business skills to digital literacy to more advanced topics such as cybersecurity, big data or Internet of Things.

The founding partners of this platform are Accenture, CA Technologies, Cisco, Cognizant, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Infosys, Pegasystems, PwC, Salesforce, SAP and Tata Consultancy Services.

The companies hope to attract adults from all backgrounds, especially those from low-resource communities or under-represented groups who have historically had less access to the IT industry, the WEF explained.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, said, “We need responsive solutions and coordination from all parts of society – governments, citizens and private industry alike – to re-envision an educational system based on lifelong learning that can fully prepare workers for the jobs of the future.

“This initiative is a clear example of industry leaders taking concerted, collective action to address a major social challenge at scale.”

The WEF conducted a report on workforce reskilling and found that one in four adults reported a mismatch between the skills they have and the skills they need for their current job, highlighting the importance of transforming and updating the skills of the workforce.

Bob Moritz, global chairman at PwC International, said, "All over the world, people are asking themselves how they are going to prepare for their future, whether it's a new job, new responsibilities, or needed new skills.

“By working together across the public and private sectors, our hope is to enable new opportunities for people to carve their own paths, develop new skills, and future-proof themselves. By sharing our skills assessment, we believe more people around the world will be empowered to learn and grow professionally throughout their lives."

The programme will initially target the US market but there are plans to expand to other countries later this year. It will also continue to add member organisations to the project over the next few months.