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In Celebration of World Youth Skills Day IBM and UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition Are Preparing Young People for the Workforce

In Celebration of World Youth Skills Day IBM and UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition Are Preparing Young People for the Workforce

Published 07-20-23

Submitted by IBM

A child with headphones working on a tablet. unesco logo and Global Education Coalition Newsletter July 2023.

A letter from IBM Chief Impact Officer Justina Nixon-Saintil in the Global Education Coalition Newsletter

Dear Coalition Members,

This year, on World Youth Skills Day, we collectively recognized the importance of preparing teachers, trainers, and youth for a transformative future. There are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16% of the global population, according to the World Youth Report. These young people possess the potential to drive transformative change worldwide and we must ensure their access to free training that equips them with in-demand skills, such as Artificial Intelligence, that will prepare them for the evolving job market. Teachers and trainers play a key role in inspiring young innovators and cultivating the creative thinking that will solve the world’s biggest challenges.

IBM understands that technology has the power to revolutionize lives, and technical skills are key to accessing good jobs. In 2022, we conducted an international survey and found that 40% of students thought their biggest barrier to technical skill development was not knowing where to begin. In this regard, no-cost educational programs, such as IBM SkillsBuild, present an opportunity to promote equity among youth. To effectively reach young learners, deeper collaboration between the public, private, and non-profit sectors worldwide is necessary.

Together with partners such as UNESCO and the Global Education Coalition, this collaborative approach is the foundation of my team’s work. By partnering with expert organizations, we tailor our offerings and scale solutions that have a positive impact at the local level. And by combining expertise and technology and focusing on the communities most impacted by skill shortages, together we can make a lasting and scalable impact in preparing young people for the world of work.

IBM takes pride in contributing to UNESCO's Global Skills Academy mission and its vision to provide no-cost, high-quality online training to empower young people with employment-oriented skills. I encourage all Coalition Members to learn about and contribute to this important mission. Together, we can create access to careers for youth and, while the challenges that lay ahead of us are daunting, the future appears promising as we continue our efforts in addressing these issues.


Justina Nixon-Saintil

IBM Chief Impact Officer

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Innovation – joining invention and insight to produce important, new value – is at the heart of what we are as a company. And, today, IBM is leading an evolution in corporate citizenship by contributing innovative solutions and strategies that will help transform and empower our global communities.

Our diverse and sustained programs support education, workforce development, arts and culture, and communities in need through targeted grants of technology and project funds. To learn more about our work in the context of IBM's broader corporate responsibility efforts, please visit Innovations in Corporate Responsibility.

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