Out of work? This IBM platform is helping 35K jobseekers

Today's business challenges call for skills that don't require a traditional degree

Out of work? This IBM platform is helping 35K jobseekers

IBM has launched a digital learning platform for Canadians who are exploring job opportunities amid the pandemic: the SkillsBuild program offers custom courses, personalized coaching and projects to help job hunters prepare for their next career move.

A total of 35,000 Canadians is expected to benefit from the online learning portal, IBM said.

More than 7,000 courses are available in English and French and “designed to help Canadians develop vital professional skills, gain practical real-life experience and build their career”.

Read more: Digital upskilling: Modern workers are hungry for learning

Some of the toughest challenges facing businesses today need “skills that don’t require a traditional degree,” said Claude Guay, IBM Canada’s president and general manager. “There is a critical need to make sure Canadians are gaining these meaningful skills that align to industry needs.”

“That’s why, regardless of background, education or life experience, SkillsBuild will equip learners with the professional skills and mentorship they need to navigate the new digital economy,” he said.

The program is the result of IBM’s collaboration with Toronto-based employment services group ACCES Employment, which has been helping diverse candidates, who are “facing barriers to employment” due to their socio-economic class, enter the Canadian workforce.

The collaboration, funded in part by TD Bank Group, aims to level the playing field for women, as well as IT professionals who are newcomers to Canada’s talent scene.

Read more: 3 critical skills to master while working from home

The platform can also be accessed by younger workers, particularly vulnerable youth, supported by Youth Employment Services, who wish to enhance their digital and cloud computing skills.

For jobseekers who are not yet affiliated with not-for-profit groups, the SkillsBuild Reignite platform offers them free online courses to upskill and find career opportunities in “high-growth sectors like web development, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity,” IBM said.

Business owners can also access the Reignite portal. “Entrepreneurs can seek advice that will help establish or restart their small business, learn about tapping into economic development assistance, or improve their digital marketing skills,” the company said.

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