IBM's SkillBuild initiative was launched in 2017 with the goal of providing free, high-quality skills training to people around the world. The initiative was created in response to the growing demand for skilled workers in the digital economy, addressing IBM's expertise in cloud computing, data science, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence.

The courses are designed to be accessible both beginners and experienced but uncertified data professionals. Courses are free and taken online through IBM's Learning Platform.

Since its launch, SkillBuild has reached over 1 million learners in over 100 countries. The initiative has been praised by organizations such as the World Economic Forum and the United Nations for its work to bridge the digital skills gap.