- One of the keys to a genuinely inclusive recovery are programs to provide easier access to digital skills for people hardest hit by job losses.
In order to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19, software giant Microsoft has launched an initiative to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the digital skills needed in a COVID-19 economy,
“Around the world, 2020 has emerged as one of the most challenging years in many of our lifetimes. In six months, the world has endured multiple challenges, including a pandemic that has spurred a global economic crisis,” wrote Brad Smith, President Microsoft in a blog.
He was of the view that one of the keys to a genuinely inclusive recovery are programs to provide easier access to digital skills for people hardest hit by job losses, including those with lower incomes, women, and underrepresented minorities.
This initiative will bring together every part of our company, combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft. It will be grounded in three areas of activity:
- 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 these positions require;
- Low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs.
Smith said that at its heart, this is a comprehensive technology initiative that will build on data and digital technology.
“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. In addition, Microsoft is backing the effort with $20 million in cash grants to help nonprofit organizations worldwide assist the people who need it most.”
In order to provide employees with new skills Microsoft has also announced that it is developing a new learning app in Microsoft Teams to help employers upskill new and existing employees.
“This will bring together best in class content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, third-party training providers, and a company’s own learning content and make it all available in a place where employees can easily learn in the flow of their work.”
“We are also pledging that we will make stronger data and analytics available to governments around the world so they can better assess local economic needs,” said Smith.