Microsoft-LinkedIn collaboration equips 3 mn Indians with digital skills

The partnership managed to exceed its goal of 25 mn digitally-skilled people during the pandemic

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Microsoft Corp. and LinkedIn have together managed to help over 30 million people acquire digital skills, across 249 countries and territories. Interestingly, of these, three million are from India. The partnership overachieved its initial goal of 25 million in June 2020. Microsoft will extend its commitment to help 2,50,000 companies worldwide in successful skills-based hiring this year.

Millions of people took courses online during the pandemic to learn and prepare themselves for the most in-demand roles of the future, including customer service, project management and data analysis.

As per the announcement on the Microsoft blog, the free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses will be available till the end of 2021, along with low-cost certifications for the in-demand jobs. This move will ensure the establishment of a skills-based economy with the help of a suite of new tools and platforms designed to match skilled job seekers with employers who require their services.

Ahmed Mazhari, president, Microsoft Asia, rightly says, “Skills will be the new currency in the post-pandemic world,” and “reskilling needs to be at the centre of our economic reset.” By collaborating with LinkedIn, Microsoft is increasing its efforts to “re-design work in the region by supporting the development of a more inclusive skills-based labour market, creating more alternatives, greater flexibility, and accessible learning paths that connect people more readily with new job opportunities.”

LinkedIn is gearing to help 2,50,000 companies globally make skills-based hires in 2021, using new and existing hiring products, including the pilot of LinkedIn Skills Path (for recruiters), new expressive and personalised LinkedIn profile features, and expanded access to LinkedIn’s Skills Graph. It will allow job seekers to show their skills in new ways and offer employers new tools to connect with suitable candidates, depending on their skills and competence.

Microsoft will supplement LinkedIn’s efforts to promote far-reaching digital skills opportunities, including Career Coach, a Microsoft Teams for Education app powered by LinkedIn that provides personalised guidance for higher-ed students.

Olivier Legrand, MD & VP, Asia Pacific & China, LinkedIn, reiterates the commitment of this partnership to help “everyone shift towards a skills-based economy” and “equip jobseekers with the right resources to pick up new skills, and connect them to opportunities.”

As part of the programme, Microsoft has been working with its nonprofit partners to coach, mentor and help network almost six million learners globally. Its new online service, Career Connector, will provide 50,000 job seekers around the world with the opportunity to secure a tech-enabled job over the next three years.

Microsoft has partnered with the Government of India, its industry bodies and non-profit organisations to create a strong digital skilling ecosystem in the country. In 2020, it tied up with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to empower 1 lakh underserved young women across India with digital skills.

It also tied up with the Directorate General of Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and NASSCOM Foundation to create new learning pathways for students at the Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) in India. To promote skilling as a national priority, NASSCOM FutureSkills and Microsoft collaborated last year to launch a nation-wide AI skilling initiative that aims to skill 1 million students in artificial intelligence by 2021.

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