Supporting its vision to improve the way the world works and lives, Accenture is committing more than US$200 million over the next three years to help equip disadvantaged people with job skills for the digital age.
“As a technology leader, we have an obligation to apply new scalable technology solutions to help solve complex societal challenges,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO. “Our investments will continue to empower Accenture to produce socially minded partnerships and programs that will have a profound impact on the lives of millions of people throughout the world, now and for the future.”
Accenture’s commitment will help support Skills to Succeed, Tech4Good, Accenture Development Partnerships and related Accenture initiatives.
The company’s Skills to Succeed initiative advances employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, leveraging digital innovation to help close employment gaps at scale. Together with a network of nonprofits and other ecosystem partners, Accenture has since 2010 equipped more than 2.2 million people with the skills to get a job or build a business, with a goal of equipping a total of more than 3 million people by 2020.
In South Africa, Skills to Succeed has already equipped thousands of people with job skills since 2015, with the vast majority of them gaining employment in digital, software development and business process services. One Skills to Succeed programme in the country is CE3 in rural KwaZulu-Natal, which serves as a catalyst for local economic development. The programme strengthens existing businesses, creates employment opportunities and builds new businesses through, among other things, the provision of clean, affordable electricity.
Examples of other Accenture’s Skills to Succeed partnerships include:
- Helping Youth Business USA develop a platform that uses artificial intelligence and analytics to connect young entrepreneurs from under-represented communities with the resources, skills, training and mentoring needed to grow their business.
- Working with Rede Cidadã and Instituto Ser Mais in Brazil to provide low-income populations with the business and technical skills they need to build meaningful, lasting careers in technology, including the opportunity to be hired by Accenture.
Accenture’s Tech4Good projects use advanced technologies to help solve critical challenges facing business and society. For instance, the company collaborated with The Grameen Foundation India, using technologies from AI to augmented reality, to help disadvantaged people improve their financial literacy to enhance their financial and social well-being. In collaboration with Club Egalité, Accenture Labs in Sophia Antipolis, France, is developing a virtual-reality game that helps primary and middle school students explore future-proof jobs and develop critical skills for the digital economy, with the goal of encouraging an interest in STEM careers.
Accenture Development Partnerships works across government, business and civil society, applying business and technology solutions to build capacity and strengthen programs for development organizations around the globe. For example, Accenture collaborated with the Spanish Ministry of Employment and a consortium of nonprofit partners and corporations in 2013 to create Emplea+, an online program that helps marginalized individuals develop technical, digital and soft skills needed for employment.
“The opportunity to improve lives requires collaboration across business, government and non-governmental organizations,” Nanterme said. “As leaders weigh new technologies and applications, we all must ask ourselves: Does this benefit the next generation? If the answer is yes, it’s the right thing to do.”