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Cisco Takes 10-For-10 Approach To Deliver Digital Skills Across EMEA

Cisco ensures a future of sustainable and secure businesses by promising to educate 10 million people in digital and cybersecurity skills across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) over the next decade. 

The US networking, cloud and security solutions provider Cisco sets itself the ambitious task of delivering digital and cybersecurity skills to 10 million people across the EMEA region over the next 10 years; a 10-for-10 take on digital education.

The company hopes to achieve this feat through its corresponding Networking Academy, which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its launch this year.

To date, the academy, which supports technology education through a portfolio of skills-to-jobs programmes, has reached 17.5 million students throughout the 190 countries in which it operates.

The company’s audience is located primarily in the EMEA region, where the academy has a presence in 120 countries. In these jurisdictions, the company has delivered educational programmes to 6.3 million people so far.

Now as part of its wider initiative to empower 25 million people with digital skills worldwide through the academy, Cisco is hoping that at least 10 million of this figure will be derived from participation within the EMEA region over the course of the next decade.

The digital shift

Cisco acknowledges the forward direction of the digital economy and recognises that a digitally skilled workforce is crucial for the future of innovation, growth and global competitiveness.

Current advancements in technology and automation are expected to eliminate 85 million jobs by 2025 while also creating 97 million newly-defined digital positions in the process.

Cisco digital skills
Guy Diedrich, SVP and chief innovation officer, Cisco

For this reason, Cisco is aspiring to equip millions of people around the world with the technical and digital skills required for these new jobs by readying future workforces through the Networking Academy.

“We need a global workforce equipped with digital skills to develop sustainable and secure businesses and more equitable societies,” Guy Diedrich, SVP and chief innovation officer at Cisco, recognises.

“Building a local pool of next-generation talent is critical to long-term social inclusion and economic resilience,” continues Diedrich. “It takes an entire ecosystem working together to achieve this.

“Through Cisco Networking Academy partnering with local organisations, we have impacted the lives of 17.5 million students over the past 25 years.”

Contributing to the EU’s digital skills goals

In line with the abovementioned reasons, the EU has a series of goals to equip at least 80 per cent of its citizens with basic digital skills by 2030. To this end, 20 million information and communications technology (ICT) specialists have been deployed to secure this initiative.

Yet at present, only 54 per cent of Europeans aged between 16 and 74 have basic digital skills. Cisco’s announcement comes as the EU debuts its European Year of Skills programme, as outlined by president Ursula von der Leyen in her latest State of the Union address.

Cisco aims to train 2.6 million people in digital and cybersecurity skills across the European Union over the next 10 years, through the Networking Academy and the diverse ecosystem of 2,882 academies on which the programme relies.

“Digital skills are in short supply across the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, which should be a cause for concern for all of us,” comments Wendy Mars, president of Cisco EMEA. “Without access to a strong talent pool, it will be harder to continue the digital transformation at pace.”

Randstad partnership

To this end, Cisco is launching a partnership with the Dutch human resource consulting firm Randstad, to help talent develop their digital skills, preparing them to navigate the digitised labour market.

As a result, the partnership plans to re-skill 300,000 people in cybersecurity, programming, and infrastructure automation and is currently running in The Netherlands and Italy with more countries to follow through 2023.

Reflecting on the partnership, Chris Heutink, Randstad’s COO said: “We are very proud to partner with Cisco to equip the talent of tomorrow with the skills they need to succeed in a fast-changing world of work.

“Through partnerships such as this one we are supporting talent to turn the skills they gained into opportunities, by combining skills with access to the labour market.”

Author

  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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