The Workforce Consortium, comprising major tech companies and workforce ecosystem firms such as Accenture, Cisco, Eightfold, Google, IBM, Indeed, Intel, Microsoft, and SAP, has come together to investigate the impact of AI on jobs and to identify the essential skills that workers will need to succeed in the evolving job market. The consortium aims to provide recommendations for employers on how to equip their workforce with the necessary skills to adapt to the increasing influence of AI.

Francine Katsoudas, the executive VP and chief people, policy, and purpose officer at Cisco, emphasized the importance of this collaborative effort, stating that "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."

The consortium plans to harness the collective expertise of its members and advisors to propose training programs for reskilling and upskilling. These programs are designed to benefit students, individuals transitioning to new careers, current IT professionals, employers, and educators.

In the initial phase of its work, the consortium will evaluate the impact of AI on 56 information and communication technology jobs and provide recommendations for those affected. These roles represent 80% of the top 45 ICT job titles that received the highest volume of job postings in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands in the year ending February 2024, according to Indeed.

This collaborative effort draws inspiration from the US-EU Trade and Technology Council’s Talent for Growth Task Force, established in June 2021 by US President Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council President Charles Michel.

Hannah Calhoon, head of AI innovation at Indeed, conveyed the company's commitment to the consortium's cause, stating "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."

Additionally, individual members of the consortium have set ambitious goals related to upskilling and reskilling:

- Cisco aims to train 25 million individuals in cybersecurity and digital skills by 2032.

- IBM plans to teach 30 million individuals by 2030 in digital skills, including 2 million in AI.

- Intel seeks to empower over 30 million people with AI skills for current and future jobs by 2030.

- Microsoft is focused on training and certifying 10 million people from underserved communities with in-demand digital skills by 2025.

- SAP is committed to upskilling 2 million people worldwide by 2025.

- Google has recently allocated EUR 25 million to support AI training and skills for individuals across Europe.

Christy Pambianchi, executive VP and chief people officer at Intel emphasized the importance of providing access to AI skills for everyone, stating that "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."

Furthermore, the Workforce Consortium has enlisted the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Chain5, Communication Workers of America, DigitalEurope, the European Vocational Training Association, Khan Academy, and SMEUnited as advisors in this venture.  

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