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Leading Companies Launch Consortium to Address AI's Impact on the Technology Workforce

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The AI-Enabled ICT Workforce Consortium is led by Cisco and joined by Accenture, Eightfold, Google, IBM, Indeed, Intel, Microsoft, and SAP. It will assess AI's impact on technology jobs and identify skills development pathways for the roles most likely to be affected by artificial intelligence.

The formation of the Consortium is catalyzed by the work of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council Talent for Growth Task Force, Cisco Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins’ participation in the Task Force, and input from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Advisors include the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, CHAIN5, Communications Workers of America, DIGITALEUROPE, the European Vocational Training Association, Khan Academy, and SMEUnited.

Cisco and a group of eight leading companies including Accenture, Eightfold, Google, IBM , Indeed, Intel, Microsoft and SAP as well as six advisors today announced the launch of the AI-Enabled Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Workforce Consortium focused on upskilling and reskilling roles most likely to be impacted by AI. The Consortium is catalyzed by the work of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council’s (TTC) Talent for Growth Task Force, with the goal of exploring AI’s impact on ICT job roles, enabling workers to find and access relevant training programs, and connecting businesses to skilled and job-ready workers.

Working as a private sector collaborative, the Consortium is evaluating how AI is changing the jobs and skills workers need to be successful. The first phase of work will culminate in a report with actionable insights for business leaders and workers. Further details will be shared in the coming months. Findings will be intended to offer practical insights and recommendations to employers that seek ways to reskill and upskill their workers in preparation for AI-enabled environments.

Consortium members represent a cross section of companies innovating on the cutting edge of AI that also understand the current and impending impact of AI on the workforce. Individually, Consortium members have documented opportunities and challenges presented by AI. The collaborative effort enables their organizations to coalesce insights, recommend action plans, and activate findings within their respective broad spheres of influence.

“AI is accelerating the pace of change for the global workforce, presenting a powerful opportunity for the private sector to help upskill and reskill workers for the future,” said Francine Katsoudas, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer, Cisco. “The mission of our newly unveiled AI-Enabled Workforce Consortium is to provide organizations with knowledge about the impact of AI on the workforce and equip workers with relevant skills. We look forward to engaging other stakeholders—including governments, NGOs, and the academic community—as we take this important first step toward ensuring that the AI revolution leaves no one behind.”

The Consortium’s work is inspired by the TTC’s Talent for Growth Task Force and Cisco Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins’ leadership of its skills training workstream, and input from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The TTC was established in June 2021 by U.S. President Biden, European Commission President von der Leyen, and European Council President Michel to promote U.S. and EU competitiveness and prosperity through cooperation and democratic approaches to trade, technology, and security.

“At the U.S. Department of Commerce, we’re focused on fueling advanced technology and deepening trade and investment relationships with partners and allies around the world. This work is helping us build a strong and competitive economy, propelled by a talented workforce that’s enabling workers to get into the good quality, high-paying, family-sustaining jobs of the future. We recognize that economic security and national security are inextricably linked. That’s why I’m proud to see the efforts of the Talent for Growth Task Force continue with the creation of the AI-Enabled ICT Workforce Consortium,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “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.”

The AI-Enabled ICT Workforce Consortium’s efforts address a business critical and growing need for a proficient workforce that is trained in various aspects of AI, including the skills to implement AI applications across business processes. The Consortium will leverage its members and advisors to recommend and amplify reskilling and upskilling training programs that are inclusive and can benefit multiple stakeholders – students, career changers, current IT workers, employers, and educators – in order to skill workers at scale to engage in the AI era.

In its first phase of work, the Consortium will evaluate the impact of AI on 56 ICT job roles and provide training recommendations for impacted jobs. These job roles include 80% of the top 45 ICT job titles garnering the highest volume of job postings for the period February 2023-2024 in the United States and five of the largest European countries by ICT workforce numbers (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands) according to Indeed Hiring Lab. Collectively, these countries account for a significant segment of the ICT sector, with a combined total of 10 million ICT workers.

Consortium members universally recognize the urgency and importance of their combined efforts with the acceleration of AI in all facets of business and the need to build an inclusive workforce with family-sustaining opportunities. Consortium members commit to developing worker pathways particularly in job sectors that will increasingly integrate artificial intelligence technology. To that end, Consortium members have established forward thinking goals with skills development and training programs to positively impact over 95 million individuals around the world over the next 10 years. Consortium member goals include:

- Cisco to train 25 million people with cybersecurity and digital skills by 2032.
- IBM to skill 30 million individuals by 2030 in digital skills, including 2 million in AI.
- Intel to empower more than 30 million people with AI skills for current and future jobs by 2030.
- Microsoft to train and certify 10 million people from underserved communities with in-demand digital skills for jobs and livelihood opportunities in the digital economy by 2025.
- SAP to upskill two million people worldwide by 2025.
- Google has recently announced EUR 25 million in funding to support AI training and skills for people across Europe.

IBM

“IBM is proud to join this timely business-led initiative, which brings together our shared expertise and resources to prepare the workforce for the AI era. Our collective responsibility as industry leaders is to develop trustworthy technologies and help provide workers—from all backgrounds and experience levels—access to opportunities to reskill and upskill as AI adoption changes ways of working and creates new jobs.” - Gian Luigi Cattaneo, Vice President, Human Resources, IBM EMEA

Accenture

“Helping organizations 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. Reskilling people to work with AI is paramount in every industry. Organizations that invest as much in learning as they do in the technology not only create career pathways, they are well positioned to lead in the market.” - Ellyn Shook, chief leadership & human resources officer, Accenture

Eightfold

“The dynamics of work and the very essence of work are evolving at an unprecedented pace. Eightfold examines the most sought-after job roles, delving into the needs for reskilling and upskilling. Through its Talent Intelligence Platform, it empowers business leaders to adapt swiftly to the changing business environment. We take pride in contributing to the creation of a knowledgeable and responsible resource that assists organizations in preparing for the future of work.” - Ashutosh Garg, CEO and Co-Founder, Eightfold AI

Google

“Google believes the opportunities created by technology should truly be available to everyone. We’re proud to join the AI-Enabled Workforce Consortium, which will advance our work to make AI skills training universally accessible. We’re committed to collaborating across sectors to ensure workers of all backgrounds can use AI effectively and develop the skills needed to prepare for future-focused jobs, qualify for new opportunities, and thrive in the economy.” - Lisa Gevelber, Founder, Grow with Google

Indeed

“Indeed’s mission is to help people get jobs. Our research shows that virtually every job posted on Indeed today, from truck driver to physician to software engineer, will face some level of exposure to GenAI-driven change. We look forward to contributing to the Workforce Consortium’s important work. The companies who empower their employees to learn new skills and gain on-the-job experience with evolving AI tools will deepen their bench of experts, boost retention and expand their pool of qualified candidates.” - Hannah Calhoon, Head of AI Innovation at Indeed

Intel

“At Intel, our purpose is to create world-changing technology that improves the lives of every person on the planet, and we believe bringing AI everywhere is key for businesses and society to flourish. To do so, we must provide access to AI skills for everyone. Intel is committed to expanding digital readiness by collaborating with 30 countries, empowering 30,000 institutions, and training 30 million people for current and future jobs by 2030. Working alongside industry leaders as part of this AI-enabled ICT workforce consortium will help upskill and reskill the workforce for the digital economy ahead.” – Christy Pambianchi, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Intel Corporation

Microsoft

"As a global leader in AI innovation, Microsoft is proud to join the ICT Workforce Consortium and continue our efforts to shape an inclusive and equitable technology future for all. As a member of the consortium, we will work with industry leaders to share best practices, create accessible learning opportunities, and collaborate with stakeholders to ensure that workers are equipped with the technology skills of tomorrow," - Amy Pannoni, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, HR Legal at Microsoft

SAP

“SAP is proud to join this effort to help prepare our workforce for the jobs of the future and ensure AI is relevant, reliable, and responsible across businesses and roles. As we navigate the complexities of our ever-evolving world, AI has the potential to reshape industries, revolutionize problem-solving, and unlock unprecedented levels of human potential, enabling us to create a more intelligent, efficient, and inclusive workforce. Over the years, SAP has supported many skills building programs, and we look forward to driving additional learning opportunities, innovation, and positive change as part of the consortium.”  - Nicole Helmer, Vice President & Global Head of Development Learning at SAP

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service.

For more information, visit: www.ibm.com.

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