Cognizant launches Synapse initiative to train 1 million people in digital skills

06 November 2023 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

Professional services firm Cognizant aims to equip 1 million people around the globe with digital skills, via its new Synapse programme. Cognizant will work with its existing 70 partnerships, including Google Cloud AI university and India’s NASSCOM, to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds and underserved communities gain new digital abilities.  

Cognizant CEO Ravi Kumar S. said, “Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and the demand for creative, tech-savvy individuals is skyrocketing. Through this sweeping reskilling endeavour, we are striving to equip one million individuals with the skills and capabilities they need to thrive in the digital economy. Cognizant’s Synapse initiative is not just about education; it's about empowering people to shape their own destinies and creating employment pathways that meet the needs of tomorrow’s employers.”

The Synapse initiative is designed to directly address the skills gap that is currently growing in every country. Resulting in a new, employable talent pool for the future digital economy by 2026. It will achieve this by addressing five key areas.

Cognizant launches Synapse initiative to train 1 million people in digital skills

Through a skills accelerator, Cognizant anticipates equipping 200,000 jobseekers with in-demand tech skills. High-scoring participants of the firm’s sponsored upskilling programmes will be shortlisted for a Cognizant "train-to-hire" programme, or interview with Cognizant or one of its Synapse partners for a job opportunity.

At the same time, Cognizant will deploy technology partnerships via its ecosystem. Through this avenue, Cognizant expects to provide training to 200,000 people to help open up the technology market to a new workforce pool for the first time.

Apprenticeships with the firm will also be a key part of its Synapse efforts. Working with universities, community colleges, and workforce development groups, Cognizant expects to support thousands of individuals as apprentices and equip them with the experience and capabilities that incorporate emerging technologies such as generative AI.

Community education will be deployed through philanthropic grants, volunteerism and mentoring, and education partnerships. Cognizant believes this focused effort will reach 300,000 individuals.

Finally, employee skilling will be offered to individuals already in the workforce. Through Cognizant’s learning and development platform, the company expects to upskill more than 200,000 of its 345,000 own employees over the life of the Synapse initiative.

The initiative will draw upon Cognizant’s heritage as a tech re-skiller, the company’s deep industry and government partnerships, and its expansive expertise across global geographies, industries, and digital technologies. Since 2018, Cognizant has worked closely with global organisations to invest in training opportunities for those in the tech field and has awarded $70 million to support 70 leading global organisations and non-profits committed to skilling. Earlier this year, Cognizant also expanded its partnership with Google Cloud to provide training resources for talent development on Google Cloud and promote the responsible use of AI – helping address some fears that AI will lead to mass layoffs.

Tobi Young, Cognizant’s senior vice president for sustainability, corporate, and regulatory affairs, added, “Cognizant’s Synapse initiative recognises and responds to the anxiety created by an increasingly digital economy. Tech skills are a fundamental currency for success and Cognizant is committed to equipping individuals to thrive. Our goal is to build a consortium of industry leaders, educational institutions, and philanthropic organisations to sustain the communities where we live and work by closing the digital skills gap, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and enriching the future pool of technology talent with one million trained-and-ready employees.”