In response to the global economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft has announced a new global skills initiative, which aims to help bring digital skills to about 25 million people across the globe, by the end of 2020.
With the entire world having made the leap to virtual, digital skills are going to be the most in-demand of the lot. In addition to helping people get access to new jobs, it is going to be an important step in accelerating economic growth.
Combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub and Microsoft, this new initiative will enable individuals looking to reskill and pursue in-demand jobs. This will involve use of data from the LinkedIn Economic Graph to identify in-demand jobs.
Free access to learning paths and content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and the GitHubLearning Lab will help people develop these skills. Moreover, access to low-cost Microsoft certifications and free LinkedIn job-seeking tools will further help these individuals in their job pursuit.
The resources for the above will be available at opportunity.linkedin.com in four languages, including English, German, French and Spanish.
In addition to the above, Microsoft is donating $20 million in cash grants to help non-profits across the world assist the people who need it most. A quarter of this amount, $5 million in cash grants, will go to community-based NGOs, which are led by and serve communities of colour in the US. The Company is further pledging the use of its LinkedIn Economic Graph to governments around the world for their use.
Microsoft has also initiated a change in its collaborative tool, Microsoft Team, where it plans to add a new learning app to help employers skill and upskill their employees.
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, explained that the move will bring together resources from across Microsoft to help reimagine how people learn and apply new skills.
According to Ryan Rolansky, CEO, LinkedIn, job seekers around the world — particularly those who have been unduly deprived of opportunities during the pandemic — will benefit from the initiative.
With unemployment rates going up across the globe, especially for women, people of colour, and those with disabilities, the initiative comes at the right time stated Brad Smith, President, Microsoft.