IBM SkillsBuild

In what can be considered a win-win for employers and job seekers, IBM recently opened up its workforce training platform, SkillsBuild, to the entire country to help workers take charge of their careers and gain new skills–at no cost. This move comes on the heels of an eye-opening IBM study that found nearly a quarter (24%) of U.S. workers plan to change employers in 2021, and more than a third (36%) plan to seek additional skills through online courses.

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The more than 1,000 SkillsBuild classes (every course and badge is 100% free) are designed to empower job seekers with workplace readiness and technical skills–even outside the tech space. SkillsBuild also offers a new mentoring platform to help aspiring tech professionals complete portfolio-building projects to showcase for potential employers. Users can take a self-assessment that helps them identify and connect with a personalized learning experience that fits their interests and skill set.

The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with rapid technological developments, is profoundly changing the workplace, says Justina Nixon-Saintil, IBM vice president and global head of corporate social responsibility. With that change, employers and HR leaders are increasingly seeking to build stronger and more diverse talent pipelines.

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“Think of IBM SkillsBuild as an investment in the community, especially for those without affordable access to traditional education who also may come from vulnerable populations,” says Nixon-Saintil. “We believe career growth, increasing workforce diversity and closing the skills gap is good for the community, but also good for HR and employers.”

Resources like IBM SkillsBuild are increasingly essential as technologies including hybrid, cloud and AI change job roles within organizations, Nixon-Saintil says.

“For the HR space, this increases the chance for upskilling or reskilling necessary in all industries as we move out of the pandemic,” she adds.

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Tom Starner
Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at [email protected].