Microsoft has joined hands with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to skill over one lakh underserved women in India over the next 10 months. This is part of the Microsoft – NSDC collaboration to equip one lakh youth in India with digital skills.
The aim is to increase women’s workforce participation by providing underserved young women from rural areas the skills to survive and grow in a digital economy. Over 70 hours of course content will be available free of cost, on digital literacy, enhancing employability, nano entrepreneurship, communication skills and other subjects.
The programme will curate a series of live training sessions and digital skilling drives to help create opportunities for young girls and women, particularly first-time job seekers and those who may have lost their livelihood during the pandemic, to join the future workforce. These live training sessions will be delivered online through the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) platform. The trainees will be able to access the content already available on the MCT platform and engage with peers.
This collaboration will witness eSkill India, NSDC’s digital skilling initiative, lending support to building the outreach of this engagement through its skilling ecosystem, including sector skill councils, training partners and training centres.
Microsoft and NSDC will award joint e-certificates to participants on successful completion of the course. Additionally, 20,000 young women from regions with poor women’s participation in the labour force will be selected skilled via a ‘dedicated skills for employability’ training programme for employment in IT/IT-enabled jobs.
Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India, rightly believes that at a time when the pandemic has enhanced India’s digital transformation, a workforce “possessing future-ready skills will be the key to unlocking the country’s next phase of growth.” By providing equal opportunity to underserved young women, along with access to digital skills, the journey to economic recovery will become an inclusive one. The partnership with NSDC will not only “bridge the gender gap” in terms of accessing digital skills, but enable “everyone to succeed in a digital economy.”
Dr Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, NSDC, points out, “Mainstreaming of content, delivery of training and use of digital platforms are key to increasing participation of women.”
This partnership is an extension of Microsoft’s global skilling initiative to assist 25 million people worldwide obtain new digital skills required for the post-pandemic economy and part of Microsoft India’s ongoing commitment to support young women for a career in technology.