Microsoft Corp has announced a new global skills initiative to bring more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year, 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.
“COVID-19 has created both 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.”
This initiative, detailed on the Official Microsoft Blog, includes immediate steps to help those looking to reskill and pursue an in-demand job and brings together every part of the company, combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub and Microsoft. This including 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 by these positions, and low-cost certifications, and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs.
The comprehensive technology initiative will build on data and digital technology, providing free access to content on LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and the GitHub Learning Lab, and together with Microsoft Certifications and LinkedIn job-seeking tools.
These resources can all be accessed at a central location, opportunity.linkedin.com, and will be broadly available online in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish.
“The biggest brunt of the current downturn is being borne by those who can afford it the least,” said Microsoft President, Brad Smith. “Unemployment rates are spiking for people of color and women, as well as younger workers, people with disabilities, and individuals with less formal education. Our goal is to combine the best in technology with stronger partnerships with governments and non-profits to help people develop the skills needed to secure a new job.”
Microsoft will use its voice to advocate for public policy innovations that will advance skilling opportunities needed in the changing economy. Microsoft also 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.
“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.”
Ryan further noted that they take pride in 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 set to find their next opportunities, available on opportunity.linkedin.com.
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