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IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the Goa State Government today announced a partnership to provide online courses for the state’s students, job seekers and entrepreneurs that will enhance their technical and professional skills. IBM will work with the Director of Technical Education, Goa and implementation partner REACHA (Research and Extension Association for Conservation Horticulture and Agro-forestry) to foster the skills development of learners, especially village level entrepreneurs and other government stakeholders by providing industry relevant course content through the IBM SkillsBuild program. The collaboration aims to upskill up to 10,000 learners across 10 institutions over a period of one year.

“”The collaboration with IBM will provide a much desirable platform for accessing and availing digital content, personalised coaching and experiential learning, in the field of ICT, for Engineering, Polytechnic, BCA, MCA, B Sc. and M Sc (computer science) students. With this, they will have opportunities to prepare for in-demand job roles, work in real projects and their employability is expected to be enhanced,” said the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Pramod Sawant.

Sandip Patel, Managing Director, IBM India/South Asia said, “The world has entered into an extreme digitization mode and technology has become the sutradhar – the unifying force – to help navigate business challenges and drive innovation. As organizations step up their digital transformation efforts there’s a huge requirement of skilled manpower in emerging technologies like Cloud & AI that can be addressed only by creating the right avenues and platforms for skills training and learning. With IBM’s skilling programs, any learner can access content that is specifically designed to develop new-collar job skillsets and entrepreneurship capabilities. IBM SkillsBuild program in India has reached more than 100,000 students in 2021 and through this collaboration will bring job-relevant skills and industry knowledge to Goa’s youth.”

IBM SkillsBuild is a free digital program that offers learning pathways on technologies like Cloud, AI, data analytics & cybersecurity and professional skills like Design Thinking for any adult learner to develop technical & professional skills that will help them reinvent their careers and businesses. Learners accessing the program can conduct a self-assessment of employment interests and aptitude, helping them identify and connect with a learning path that fits their skills set.

The SkillsBuild program has covered 113,000 learners with 180,000 learning hours and 100,000 course completion since its launch in November 2019 in India.

IBM is also now extending SkillsBuild for free to a more general audience, particularly small business owners, entrepreneurs and job seekers. Completion of courses leads to the awarding of ‘micro-credentials’ known as digital badges which demonstrate proficiencies to potential employers.

In India, previously, IBM has partnered with the National Skills Development Corporation, Directorate General of Training at the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Central Board of Secondary Education, Niti Aayog and State Department of Education and State Skills Missions to impact more than 4 lakhs learners and students across 22+ states through its education and skilling initiatives.