Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Microsoft Corp. on Tuesdayannounced anew global skills initiative aimed at bringing more digital skills to25 million people worldwide by the end of the year.
The announcement comes in response to the global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Expanded access to digital skills is an important step in accelerating economic recovery, especially for the people hardest hit by job losses.
This initiative, detailed on the Official Microsoft Blog, includes immediate steps to help those looking to reskill and pursue an in-demand job andbrings together every part of the company, combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub and Microsoft. Thisincludes:
- Data and analytics.Using data to understand the skills and jobsmost in-demand and therefore likely to lead to good career opportunities.
- Free learning resources.Offer access to free learningpaths through the end of 2020, and free content from across Microsoft, LinkedIn and GitHub,to helppeopledevelop the skills needed for these in-demand jobs.
- Connecting skills to opportunities. Providing low-cost access to industry-recognized certifications through the end of the year andfree access to powerfuljob-seeker tools that will help people get hired once they have the skills and certifications.
- These resources can be accessed at a central location,opportunity.linkedin.com, and will be broadly available online in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish.
Microsoft is backing the effort with $20 million in cash grants to help nonprofit organizations worldwide assist those who need it most, including people with lower income, lower educational attainment and underrepresented minorities. One-quarter of this total, or $5 million, will be provided in cash grants to 50 community-based nonprofit organizations led by and serving communities of color in the United States.
The company is also pledging to make stronger data and analytics— including data from the LinkedIn Economic Graph —available to governments around the world so they can better assess local economic needs.
Microsoft will use itsvoice to advocate for public policy innovations that will advance skilling opportunities needed in the changed economy.
Later this year, Microsoft will preview 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,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “Today, we’re bringing together resources from Microsoft inclusive of LinkedIn and GitHub 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.”
“Within only a few months, COVID-19 has provoked a massive demand shock, setting off job losses that far exceed the scale of the Great Recession a decade ago,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “A key step in accelerating economic recovery – and ensuring that recovery is inclusive – is to provide easier access to digital skills for those hardest hit by job losses, including people with lower incomes, women, and underrepresented minorities.”
“Creating opportunity for every member of the global workforce drives everything we do at LinkedIn,” said LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky. “As a part of the Microsoft ecosystem, we have the unique ability to help job seekers around the world – especially those who have been disproportionately disadvantaged during the COVID-19 crisis – gain the skills and find the jobs they deserve. We’re proud to be bringing the right data about what the jobs and skills of the future will be to create the right learning paths to help 25 million job seekers find their next opportunities. We’re making it all available at opportunity.linkedin.com.”
More information can be found at the Microsoft microsite news.microsoft.com/skills.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.