Microsoft launches programme to close global AI skills gap, train 15,000 workers by 2022

Anca Alexe 21/05/2019 | 08:12

Microsoft and global education provider General Assembly (GA) have announced a partnership aimed at closing skill gaps in the rapidly growing fields of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and data engineering, machine learning, data science, and more, a press release said. The initiative will upskill and reskill 15,000 workers by 2022, and create a pool of AI talent for the global workforce.

Technologies like AI are creating demand for new worker skills and competencies: According to the World Economic Forum, up to 133 million new roles could be created by 2022 as a result of the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms.

To address this challenge, Microsoft and GA will power 2,000 job transitions for workers into AI and machine learning roles in year one and will train an additional 13,000 workers with AI-related skills across sectors in the next three years.

The joint program will focus on three core areas: setting the standards for artificial intelligence skills, developing scalable AI training solutions for companies, and creating a sustainable talent pool of workers with AI skills.

  • To create clear and consistent standards for AI skills, Microsoft will be the founding member of GA’s AI Standards Board, and will be joined by other industry-leading companies at the forefront of AI disruption. Over the next six months, the Standards Board will define skills standards, develop assessments, design a career framework, and build an industry-recognized credential for AI skills.
  • As businesses adopt AI and machine learning, business leaders and technologists alike must understand AI concepts and master AI tools. The project will focus on accelerating the workforce training needs of Microsoft’s customers so that more teams have the foundational skills needed to work with AI.
  • To ensure that businesses can meet ever-growing AI talent needs, GA and Microsoft will establish an AI Talent Network to source candidates for hire and project-based work. GA will leverage its existing network of 22 campuses and the broader Adecco ecosystem to create a repeatable talent pipeline for the AI Talent Network.

“As a technology company committed to driving innovation, we have a responsibility to help workers access the AI training they need to ensure they thrive in the workplace of today and tomorrow,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president of Global Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft. “We are thrilled to combine our industry and technical expertise with General Assembly to help close the skills gap and ensure businesses can maximize their potential in our AI-driven economy.”

 

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