Microsoft Corporation has unveiled a new global skills initiative aimed at training 25 million people across the world in digital skills this year in response to the global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said expanded access to digital skills is an important step in accelerating economic recovery, especially for the people hardest hit by job losses.
The initiative includes immediate steps to help those looking to reskill and pursue an in-demand job.
It includes the use of data to identify in-demand jobs and the skills needed to fill them; free access to learning paths and content to help people develop the skills required in positions and low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs.
It starts with data on jobs and skills from the LinkedIn Economic Graph. It provides free access to content in LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and the GitHub Learning Lab, and couples these with Microsoft Certifications and LinkedIn job-seeking tools, the company said.
The resources can be accessed at a central location, opportunity.linkedin.com.
Microsoft is backing the effort with US$20 million in cash grants to help non-profit organisations worldwide assist the people who need it most.
The company is also pledging to make stronger data and analytics, including from the LinkedIn Economic Graph, available to governments around the world so they can better assess local economic needs.
It announced it is creating a new learning app in Microsoft Teams designed to help employers skill and upskill new and current employees as people return to work and as the economy adds jobs.
“COVID-19 has created both a public health and an economic crisis, and as the world recovers, we need to ensure no one is left behind,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.
“Today, we are bringing together resources … to reimagine how people learn and apply new skills – and help 25 million people facing unemployment due to COVID-19 prepare for the jobs of the future.” — VNS
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