IBM has partnered with not-for-profit Soldier On to give former Defence personnel and veterans access to its upskilling platform to improve their technology-based skills.
Named SkillsBuild, the free platform is aimed at providing job seekers around the world with upskilling opportunities in collaboration with external partners and began its roll out in May 2019 in France.
In this case, Soldier On specialises in providing services to veterans and their families. Therefore, their involvement in the platform is targeted towards their speciality.
Announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the not-for-profit's involvement in the platform is aimed at providing over 3,000 veterans and their families the skills to move into high demand jobs.
"The skills investment that has been made here by IBM [ensures] that we can equip today's veterans to be successful in a digital economy," he said.
"Thanks to Soldier On and to IBM who've made this happen. We appreciate that, our veterans and their families, that they have so much to offer."
The platform contains online learning programs for digital and professional skills, covering topics such as web development, data management, customer support, cloud administration and cybersecurity.
Participates can also book time with IBM experts for coaching on course content, career planning, professional skills and labour market insights.
Additionally, participants will have opportunities for work experience with industry professionals on projects.
Katrina Troughton, IBM managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said the platform addresses the “urgent” need to redeploy and reskill this workforce in Australia into technical positions.
“Investment in future skills is vital to ensure the country’s ongoing digital literacy,” she said.
“As a mid-career re-skilling initiative, our partnership with Soldier On will help many Australians build new skills and redeploy existing ones, pivoting to a new career path that will help address the huge skills gap we have in cyber security in particular, but also in digital skills more generally.
“Solider On is an extraordinary organisation dedicated to the empowerment of veterans and their families – especially through access to education programs and employment support – and IBM is thrilled to partner with them on this initiative.”
Soldier On chairman Peter Leahy added that the platform will ensure the veteran community has another avenue to transition into a new career after active service.
“As part of Soldier On’s Pathways Program, the IBM SkillsBuild platform will enable more veterans and their families to upskill in high-growth areas like cyber security and secure their future post-service career faster,” he said.