Ireland, March 9, 2021 -- IBM (NYSE:IBM) announced the launch of Open P-TECH, a free online digital education platform aimed at students and focused on workplace learning and digital skills. Open P-TECH, which supports distance learning, comes at a pivotal time as schools and colleges in Ireland face unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19.
The platform equips 14-20-year old learners with technical and professional skills of the digital economy, offering training in technologies including AI, cloud computing and cybersecurity, along with professional and personal development skills, such as Design Thinking and Mindfulness.
“Young people of today are often underprepared to navigate the world of work and the options presented to them when completing school or college,” said Deirdre Kennedy, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, IBM Ireland. “The online format of Open P-TECH means individual students can easily access these free resources, while teachers can implement the content seamlessly into the curriculum and manage the learner’s progress.”
Using the platform, students preparing for internships, further education or their careers, earn the same ‘digital badges’ that professionals in the field currently include on their CVs and LinkedIn profiles.
Ciara Dowling, P-TECH Coordinator at St Joseph's CBS, Fairview, Dublin, commented: "Open P-TECH is an innovative digital resource that compliments and enhances our current curriculum. It allows students to engage with highly relevant content to boost their academic, technical, and professional workplace skills in an interactive and exciting way. Students get a great sense of accomplishment by earning badges that will feature on their CV after school and will support them in the competitive jobs market of tomorrow. As a teacher, the implementation of Open P-TECH has made learning more meaningful for students.”
Keith Gibbons, Teacher at Kildare Town Community School, who has put Open P-TECH into practice with his Transition Year students added, "What I like about Open P-TECH is that is makes teaching and learning fun. Students are learning and discovering topics and skills that are relevant in today's innovation space. Open P-TECH is relevant, it's creative and it's worthwhile for my students."
As of February 2021, more than 224,000 learners and teachers are making use of the Open P-TECH platform in more than 137 countries. It is now available in Chinese, English, French, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish languages.
In tandem with Open P-TECH, IBM offers online webinars at IBM Skills with a variety of workplace topics and activities that students can explore on new topics and careers, so that they can reach their full potential, anytime, anywhere.
The Open P-TECH platform is complementary to IBM’s Pathways In Technology (P-TECH) model launched by the Irish Government in 2018 to specifically address the digital skills shortage.
P-TECH provides an alternative approach to post-primary education by integrating industry and career preparation activities such as mentoring, paid internships and work-site visits alongside the traditional study earning academic qualifications. P-TECH schools provide students, especially those in disadvantaged communities, with improved access to the professional and technical skills to be successful in today’s increasingly digitised economy.
Since its launch, P-TECH is now in 28 countries and regions, more than 240 open schools, 150k students in the pipeline, with 600 company partners.
A recent IBM study, "The Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap" predicts more than 120 million people will need up-skilling or re-skilling in the next three years. Providing free access to Open P-TECH, IBM is sharing the tools to boost early career prospects for students and provide a route to work that is more inclusive than ever before.
Open P-TECH is available to students in Ireland - Register here: https://www.ptech.org/open-p-tech/
IBM Ireland External Relations.