Learning & Development, Technology

Partnership Leads to Joint Initiative for AI Skills Gap Training

While many in the workforce fear the potential of being displaced by new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), companies around the globe are actually seeing a need for more workers with advanced skills to manage the use of AI and other technologies.


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In fact, the issue isn’t one of workers being potentially unable to find a job but rather preparing workers to take on more challenging opportunities.

There are opportunities for well-paying jobs to be created, but there is a shortage of applicants with the requisite qualifications to fill those positions. The private sector is stepping in to help address this issue.

The Private Sector Steps In

Microsoft Corporation and global education provider General Assembly (GA) has announced a partnership to close skills gaps in the rapidly growing fields of AI, cloud and data engineering, machine learning, data science, and more.

According to a Microsoft press release, “This initiative will create standards and credentials for AI skills, upskill and reskill 15,000 workers by 2022, and create a pool of AI talent for the global workforce.”

The number of new AI-related jobs worldwide could be significantly more substantial than the 15,000 Microsoft and GA have targeted for training. Perhaps somewhat ironically, AI and other advanced technologies are actually increasing the demand for workers with new skills and competencies.

Meeting Growing Demand with Targeted Training

In fact, as Microsoft indicates, “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.”

This is where Microsoft and GA plan to focus their efforts, initially targeting 2,000 job transitions and expanding to 13,000 over the next 3 years. The Microsoft/GA initiative will focus on three core areas:

Setting standards for skills. According to Microsoft, the company will be the founding member of GA’s “AI Standards Board,” which is tasked with defining skills standards, developing assessments, designing a career framework, and building an industry-recognized credential for AI skills.

Developing scalable AI solutions. Microsoft notes that although its product Azure supports business in aerospace, manufacturing, and other sectors, not many workers are able to effectively leverage the available tools. Part of the joint initiative will focus on accelerating workforce training.

Creating a sustainable talent pool. Finally, GA and Microsoft plan to establish an “AI Talent Network” to help source candidates for AI positions. Microsoft adds, “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.”

It’s understandable for many workers to feel apprehensive in the face of emerging technologies like AI. These technologies represent a potentially substantial change in the way the workforce operates.

But rather than seeing these tools as a threat, workers should see them as an opportunity to increase their worth. Taking advantage of training programs that will turn such workers into valuable, tech-savvy assets is a great way to capitalize on that opportunity.

Technology, as well as the many new terms we’re being introduced to, can be confusing. At Workforce L&D 2019, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a number of sessions that can help you get up to date on the latest tech trends.