Bengaluru: Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday said it has helped over 30 million people in 249 countries and territories gain access to digital skills, of which close to 3 million are from India. This tops its initial goal of 25 million last June. Microsoft is also extending its commitment to help 250,000 companies globally make a skills-based hire in 2021.
The announcement builds on the company’s efforts to help people by extending free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses and low-cost certifications that align to 10 of the most in-demand jobs throughout 2021.
The next stage of the initiative sets a new foundation for a skills-based economy through a suite of new tools and platforms designed to connect skilled job seekers with employers, Microsoft said.
“Skills will be the new currency in the post-pandemic world. Over the past year, we have seen the pandemic affect people all across the world, including those who could bear it the least,” said Ahmed Mazhari, president, Microsoft Asia. “For us to emerge stronger from the pandemic, reskilling needs to be at the centre of our economic reset. Together with LinkedIn, we are doubling down our efforts to re-design work in the region by supporting the development of a more inclusive skills-based labour market.”
Microsoft is supplementing LinkedIn in promoting far-reaching digital skills opportunities, including Career Coach, a Microsoft Teams for Education app, that provides personalized guidance for higher education students to navigate their career journey.
As part of the initiative, Microsoft has worked closely with its non-profit partners to help provide support with coaching, mentoring, and networking to nearly 6 million learners worldwide. Microsoft will apply these lessons more broadly and is announcing a new online service, Career Connector, that will provide 50,000 job seekers globally with the opportunity to secure a tech-enabled job over the next three years.
In India, Microsoft has partnered with the government, industry bodies and non-profit partners to create a strong digital skilling ecosystem in the country. Last year, Microsoft joined hands with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in India to empower 1 lakh underserved young women across India with digital skills. To promote skilling as a national priority, Nasscom FutureSkills and Microsoft collaborated last year to launch a nation-wide artificial intelligence (AI) skilling initiative that aims to skill 1 million students in AI by 2021.