Big Tech firms form consortium to address AI's impact on jobs

IBM, Google, SAP among employers looking at upskilling, reskilling amid rise of artificial intelligence

Big Tech firms form consortium to address AI's impact on jobs

Several big names in the private sector are forming a consortium to address through upskilling and reskilling the impact of artificial intelligence on employment.

The AI-Enabled Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Workforce Consortium will be led by Cisco, and will be joined by Accenture, Eightfold, Google, IBM, Indeed, Intel, Microsoft, and SAP.

"The mission of our newly unveiled AI-Enabled Workforce Consortium is to provide organisations with knowledge about the impact of AI on the workforce and equip workers with relevant skills," said Francine Katsoudas, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer, Cisco, in a statement.

In the first phase of its work, the consortium will evaluate the impact of AI on 56 ICT job roles, which include 80% of the top 45 ICT job titles that have the highest job postings in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands.

The consortium will then provide training reskilling and upskilling recommendations for the impacted jobs.

"Helping organisations identify skills gaps and train people at speed and scale is a major priority for Accenture, and this consortium brings together an impressive ecosystem of industry partners committed to growing leading-edge technology, data and AI skills within our communities," said Ellyn Shook, chief leadership & human resources officer, Accenture, in a statement.

Skills development commitments

The members of the consortium have also committed various skills development goals and training programmes:

  • Cisco to train 25 million people with cybersecurity and digital skills by 2032.
  • IBM to train 30 million individuals by 2030 in digital skills, including two million in AI.
  • Intel to empower more than 30 million people with AI skills for current and future jobs by 2030.
  • Microsoft to train and certify 10 million people from underserved communities with in-demand digital skills for jobs and livelihood opportunities in the digital economy by 2025.
  • SAP to upskill two million people worldwide by 2025.
  • Google has recently announced EUR25 million in funding to support AI training and skills for people across Europe

"Our collective responsibility as industry leaders is to develop trustworthy technologies and help provide workers—from all backgrounds and experience levels—access to opportunities to reskill and upskill as AI adoption changes ways of working and creates new jobs," said Gian Luigi Cattaneo, Vice President, Human Resources, IBM EMEA, in a statement.

The consortium comes as AI becomes a bigger threat to job security - with the International Monetary Fund predicting that it could expose almost 40% of global employment.

The World Economic Forum recently underscored that upskilling will be crucial across organisations  this year, stating it will be the "key in the coming years to ensure an equitable future of work."

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