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Big Tech firms form consortium to address AI’s impact in jobs

Private sector titans unite to tackle AI impact on employment.

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The consortium will assess the impact of AI on 56 ICT job roles.
Helping organisations identify skills gaps and train people at speed and scale is a major priority.
IBM plans to train 30 million individuals by 2030 in digital skills.

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A consortium comprising prominent players from the private sector is being established to tackle the employment ramifications of artificial intelligence through upskilling and reskilling initiatives.

Leading the initiative is Cisco, spearheading the AI-Enabled Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Workforce Consortium. Joining forces with Cisco are industry giants such as Accenture, Eightfold, Google, IBM, Indeed, Intel, Microsoft, and SAP.

Francine Katsoudas, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer at Cisco, expressed the consortium’s mission, stating, “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.”

In its initial phase, the consortium will assess the impact of AI on 56 ICT job roles, encompassing 80% of the top 45 ICT job titles with the highest job postings across the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. Subsequently, it will offer recommendations for training, reskilling, and upskilling for the affected roles.

Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership & Human Resources Officer at Accenture, emphasised the significance of the initiative, stating, “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.”

Each consortium member has committed to specific skills development goals and training programs:

– Cisco aims to train 25 million individuals in cybersecurity and digital skills by 2032.

– IBM plans to train 30 million individuals by 2030 in digital skills, including two million in AI.

– Intel endeavors to empower over 30 million individuals with AI skills for current and future jobs by 2030.

–  Microsoft pledges to train and certify 10 million people from underserved communities in-demand digital skills for jobs and livelihood opportunities in the digital economy by 2025.

– SAP aims to upskill two million people globally by 2025.

– Google recently announced EUR25 million in funding to support AI training and skills development across Europe.

Gian Luigi Cattaneo, Vice President, Human Resources, IBM EMEA, stressed the collective responsibility of industry leaders to ensure workers, irrespective of background or experience, have access to opportunities to reskill and upskill amid evolving AI adoption and job landscape changes.

The consortium’s formation coincides with growing concerns about AI’s impact on job security, with the International Monetary Fund warning that it could expose nearly 40% of global employment. The World Economic Forum has emphasised the critical role of upskilling across organisations, stating it will be essential “in the coming years to ensure an equitable future of work.”

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