IBM announced Thursday that it is partnering with the State of California to launch the state’s first-ever public-private partnership focused on creating a technology apprenticeship program.

The program will address a statewide skills shortage in three critical fields: Mainframe System Administration (MSA), Software Engineering (SWE), and Application Development (AD).

“We are looking forward to this apprenticeship program advancing our efforts to put more people into the mainframe jobs pipeline,” said Amy Tong State Chief Information Officer and Director of the Department of Technology. “This program will offer those new to the workforce, as well as mid-career workers, an opportunity to acquire skills for in-demand public technology jobs as we move toward one digital government.”

Sponsors of the zSystems Apprenticeship Pilot Program are the California Government Operations Agency, Employment Development Department, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, California Department of Technology, Franchise Tax Board, California Department of Industrial Relations, Department of Motor Vehicles, and SEIU Local 1000.