About 5,000 underserved youth from regions across Karnataka, Telangana and Delhi-NCR are now skilled in data science and cloud computing, with over 2,000 of them placed in jobs through a programme by IBM in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation aimed at making India’s youth future ready.
As part of IBM’s SkillsBuild career readiness programme, IBM and NASSCOM Foundation worked with 23 colleges to certify enrolled students on IBM certified courses on emerging technologies including data science and cloud computing in 2019. This programme engaged students with an on-campus, 250 hour-long blended training model that uses online and face-to-face training to build skills in new-age technologies in its first year.
Subsequently, the programme pivoted into a completely online mode of education and learning due to Covid based restrictions in 2020. Students from 23 tier-2 and tier-3 non-technical institutions were trained by partners TMI and iPrimed. The colleges chosen for the programme included Vijaya Evening College, East Point College, Vidya Vahini College, Vivekanand Degree College, Karnataka College Dharwad, Siddaganga College, KSS Arts, Science and Commerce College, Siddhaganga Women’s College. Several other colleges in Dharwar, Bhagalkot, Gadag, Koppal, Nargund, Bangalore, and Tumkur in Karnataka and Faridabad in Haryana were also a part of the programme.
After the training, IBM and NASSCOM Foundation, in association with training partners, have been conducting placement drives across the country and have already placed over 2,000 students in leading technology organisations despite the challenges caused by the pandemic.
IBM has championed the development of technical, soft skills and life-skills in youth to prepare them for the ‘new collar’, future-ready jobs.
Manoj Balachandran, Leader, Corporate Social Responsibility, IBM India-South Asia said, “Aligned to the Skill India mission, IBM is committed to bridge the skills gap by working with an ecosystem of industry partners, academia and government to provide professional and technical skills to students and teachers. As the industry leader in emerging technologies, we consider it our responsibility to leverage that technical expertise in making skills training accessible to every learner across the country. On World Youth Skills Day, we are proud to have associated with NASSCOM Foundation and our esteemed partners in providing industry-relevant content, skill sets and employment to students that will help them future proof their skills and build careers.”
Nidhi Bhasin, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, commenting on the completion of the programme, said, “The Future is blended learning – be it a combination between face-to-face and online/digital mode or between structured curriculum and skills based or applications based learning, or a fantastic combination between all these. Despite the challenges during the ongoing Covid pandemic, NASSCOM Foundation is proud to work with IBM on this initiative, where together, we have skilled about 5,000 youth and placed over 2,000 of those students. We would like to sincerely urge companies to take this initiative as an example to join us in our goal of closing the industry’s skills gap, in line with the SDGs, to provide employability to the youth from underserved communities.”
Sharing her experience with the programme, Sushanti PK, Principal, Kittel Science College, Dharwad said, “This type of training programme that provides employability with zero cost to students is a first-ever in our college. NASSCOM Foundation, IBM and TMI E2E Academy joined hands with us to resolve the problem of unemployment in rural areas. Even though the training/assessment was conducted on an online platform, the candidate response was overall good, and they took it as a new experience. We look forward for these kinds of programmes that benefit the rural poor graduates.”
One of the beneficiary students, Ashwini. R from MGR College said, “As we all are aware the Covid pandemic overtook the entire world, but IBM didn’t consider dropping classes and continued to conduct them regularly. They made sure that we qualify ourselves to attend any kind of interview and learn all the current trending technologies in the IT world. During the session, we learned a lot about cloud computing which is essential today for every company. We also learned a lot about virtualisation, IT infrastructure and blockchain, and all these have helped us to gain knowledge about today’s tech landscape”
IBM and NASSCOM Foundation have also previously partnered to train students using other coursework on SkillsBuild designed for teens and university students. This engagement registered more than 50,000 users from almost 500 institutions across India being trained on technologies like AI, Cloud Computing, Cyber security, Quantum Computing and more.
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