Microsoft ties up with Ministry of Labour & Employment to skill 10 mn Indian youth

The DigiSaksham initiative will provide 3,00,000 youth with technical skills in the first year

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Microsoft India has entered into a partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) to launch DigiSaksham – a collaborative digital skills training initiative, aimed at making job seekers relevant in the tech-driven economy. The initiative is part of the Government’s mission to upskill rural and semi-urban Indian youth.

The collaboration will provide 10 million active registered jobseekers on the National Career Service (NCS) platform, access to inclusive computing and computer science training. It will provide them the skills required to thrive in a digital economy. Conceptualised and designed by Microsoft India, DigiSaksham will be implemented in the field by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme India (AKRSP-I). The programme will benefit over 3,00,000 job seekers in the first year, providing training in programming languages, data analytics, software-development fundamentals and advanced digital productivity.

DigiSaksham is an extension of Microsoft’s global commitment to help 25 million people acquire digital skills in a pandemic-affected economy. This project will support the existing government ecosystem by upskilling job seekers through a four-step approach.

To start with, AKRSP(I) will curate sector skills requirements and develop customised learning paths to improve the employability of jobseekers. It will integrate Microsoft’s technical course curriculum on the NCS portal via the Global Skills Initiative, to enable access for 10 million active registered jobseekers. Third, it will directly train 3,00,00 beneficiaries across India using a blended model with online training on the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) platform, and in-person workshops at select Model Career Centers. Finally, the programme will support youth trained and certified under DigiSaksham with placements at four select Model Career Centres.

A placement officer will be appointed to look into industry-specific placements and hyperlocal employment opportunities.

The initiative was inaugurated by Union Cabinet Minister for Labour & Employment, Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, who spoke about the programme being offered free of cost to the youth of the country, “to build their competencies and abilities”.

Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India, said the programme was proof of “our commitment to bridge the digital equity gap and empower the youth of India to succeed in a digital economy”. He emphasised that “Providing equal opportunity and access to digital skills for all will be the key to long-term economic and social value creation for India.”

Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Labour and Employment Rameshwar Teli, pointed out that the “DigiSaksham programme is specially focused to provide digital productivity skills to socially and economically backward groups,” saying that “trainees from SC/ST groups and Persons with Disabilities will definitely benefit from this programme”.

Apoorva Oza, CEO AKRSP(I), said, that “AKRSP(I) is partnering with Microsoft India and MoLE to reach out to the millions of youths – to ensure their poverty and geographical remoteness do not prevent them from being part of a steadfastly digital economy.”

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