The Vocational Training Council (VTC) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced in a signing ceremony last Tuesday, 30 November that they will jointly promote digital skills training in Hong Kong. Under the collaboration, students of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) and Youth College can acquire the latest digital skills, such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud Computing and Data Science, through the online learning and career readiness platform IBM SkillsBuild for Job Seekers to users. Badges will be awarded to students upon successful completion of the courses. Workplace skills and experience sharing will also be offered by IBM Hong Kong to help students enhance their human-centric, professional skills, such as collaboration, presentation and problem solving, nurturing digital ready talent for Hong Kong.
The signing ceremony was held at the Innovation & Technology Co-creation Centre of IVE (Morrison Hill), where Dr Joseph LEUNG, Academic Director of VTC Information Technology Discipline and Kitty WONG, General Manager, IBM Hong Kong signed the collaboration agreement. Tony TAI, VTC Chairman, remarked in his speech that VTC becomes IBM’s first partnering education institute on IBM SkillsBuild for Job Seekers in Hong Kong, enabling IVE and Youth College students to enroll on the online courses in the platform programme to reinforce their digital skills starting from this academic year.
The collaboration is part of IBM’s groundbreaking global plan to provide 30 million people of all ages with new skills needed for the jobs of tomorrow by 2030. Kitty WONG, General Manager of IBM Hong Kong said, “The partnership with VTC is part of this commitment, and I am delighted to collaborate with VTC, the largest vocational and professional education and training provider in Hong Kong, to launch a local version of the IBM SkillsBuild for Job Seekers programme to help students build skills for the future. As Hong Kong is accelerating its transformation into an innovation and technology hub and its integration into the Greater Bay Area, the collaboration with VTC can play an important role in nurturing talent for Hong Kong.”
IBM SkillsBuild is an online learning programme for digital skills training covering such areas as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Data Science, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT), etc. Over 1,000 no-cost online courses at different levels are offered in languages like English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, for people around the world to learn at their own interest and pace. Each topic is supported with learning materials such as videos, scenario based practices and quizzes to cater for students’ learning needs step by step. Students can self-evaluate their career interests and strength through the platform. When they complete the courses, students will be awarded with digital badges by IBM that are recognised by the IT industry and other employers worldwide.
Starting from this academic year, IVE and Youth College students of Higher Diploma or Diploma of Vocational Education programmes from different disciplines will have an opportunity to enroll on the IBM SkillsBuild online courses to enrich their knowledge on new technologies. In addition, experts from IBM Hong Kong will share with IVE and Youth College students the latest application of digital technology and workplace skills, to help them better understand the industry trends. Through the partnership and exchanges, VTC and IBM will train up the digital skills of young people and nurture talent for the future development of Hong Kong.
Besides, IBM will provide support to the VTC teaching staff through introducing different online courses available at IBM SkillsBuild, and facilitating teaching staff to analyse students’ performance to optimise the learning outcomes.
A student from the IVE Higher Diploma Programme of Information Technology Discipline spoke of the experience with IBM SkillsBuild for Job Seekers, especially on how the programme offers digital skills training highly relevant to tech job roles in many industries, and covers some up-and-coming subjects like Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, etc. The platform also offers practical training scenarios which reflect industry needs, brushing up students’ professional skills in design thinking and project management. Students can access the online programme anytime and anywhere, developing their practical workplace skills at their own schedules flexibly.