Microsoft, Google, & Other Major Tech Firms Pledge to Reskill Employees At Risk from AI

Accenture, Cisco, and SAP are among the others to join The AI-Enabled ICT Workforce Consortium

Microsoft, Google, & Other Major Tech Firms Pledge to Reskill Employees At Risk from AI
Loyalty ManagementLatest News

Published: April 4, 2024

Charlie Mitchell

Accenture, Cisco, Eightfold, Google, IBM, Indeed, Intel, Microsoft, and SAP, along with six advisors, have announced the creation of the AI-Enabled ICT Workforce Consortium.

Inspired by the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council’s (TTC’s) Talent for Growth Task Force, the initiative plans to address AI’s impact on IT sector jobs.

The Consortium will focus on identifying the roles most affected by AI, facilitating access to relevant training, and connecting skilled workers with possible employers.

Its first step will be to produce a report that dives deeper into how AI will impact 56 specific roles across the IT space, offering “actionable insights” to business leaders and workers.

From there, the Consortium’s members will pool their expertise, formulate action plans, and implement solutions within their sphere of influence.

Delighted to share the news and celebrate the TTC’s Talent for Growth Task Force’s role, Gina Raimondo, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, said:

“I am grateful to the consortium members for joining in this effort to confront the new workforce needs that are arising in the wake of AI’s rapid development.

“This work will help provide unprecedented insight on the specific skill needs for these jobs.

I hope that this Consortium is just the beginning and that the private sector sees this as a call to action to ensure our workforces can reap the benefits of AI.

Doubling down on their participation, many of the members have committed to developing “worker pathways”, particularly across sectors that will increasingly integrate AI.

In that spirit, several members have established forward-thinking goals, promising skills development and training programs that will touch 95 million individuals worldwide in the next ten years.

Examples of these goals include:

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

Such pledges aim to ensure the job security of IT professionals, who play a huge part in digital and customer experience transformation projects.

Moreover, the opportunities provided by some of the biggest names in the AI business will likely add something special to the resume.

Yet, this isn’t only about reskilling existing software developers to cloud architects, UX designers to network engineers. It’s also about upskilling workers with less IT know-how.

That’s critical, as AI will change the nature of many roles within customer experience and beyond.

For instance, consider the contact center space. A recent announcement from Klarna that its new GenAI-powered chatbot does the work of 700 full-time agents.

Since, some have disputed those numbers and found faults within the solution, as this LinkedIn post showcases.

However, this example spotlights a potential future where businesses need fewer, better-trained, AI-enabled people working in the contact center.

That skilled worker requirement will extend across industries and sectors, from healthcare to manufacturing, logistics to advertising.

So, while this is an excellent step forward, let’s hope the commission goes beyond traditional IT-based roles, and – as Raimondo suggests – that this is only the beginning.



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