The British Council and Microsoft India have signed a three-year partnership programme called ‘English Skills for Youth’ aimed at enhancing the employability skills of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 in over 17 states in India. The programme primarily focuses on improving English language proficiency, which is a highly sought-after skill, along with other essential skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, soft skills, and leadership abilities. The goal is to provide holistic development opportunities for marginalised youth, particularly women, in socio-economically disadvantaged communities.
The ‘English Skills for Youth’ programme aims to bridge the gender divide in the workplace by targeting 75 percent women learners. It will be integrated into rural engineering colleges connected to Microsoft’s existing skilling projects for underserved communities. The initial three-year pilot phase of the initiative aims to make a positive impact on 60,000 young people and involve 600 teachers. The ultimate objective is to expand the program’s reach and engage a total of 400,000 young individuals in projects supported by Microsoft Philanthropies.
The programme consists of three key aspects: capacity building for English faculty and placement officers in state engineering colleges, developing English skills for students through community-based approaches, and establishing an interface with industry through thought leadership forums on multilingualism in the workplace.
The partnership between the British Council and Microsoft India aims to equip young people, especially women, with the necessary skills to enhance their employability and improve their life opportunities. The collaboration leverages Microsoft Philanthropies’ existing delivery platforms to work at scale and aligns with the British Council’s focus on language proficiency and empowering the next generation.