Microsoft to support 25mn people; Launches global digital skills program

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Global software giant Microsoft Corp. has introduced a new global skills program intended to offer more digital skills to 25 million people around the world by the end of the year.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect the global economy, Microsoft’s announcement is a response to the crisis. As, for those hardest hit by the crisis, increased access to digital skills is the way forward to revive the economy.

According to the Official Microsoft Blog, the individuals looking to re-skill and find a career that is on-demand will be supported by bringing together their resources from every aspect of their company including LinkedIn and GitHub. It includes the use of data to identify occupations that are in demand and the skills required to fill them.

The job seekers will be able to avail of free access to learning pathways and information that they require to efficiently fulfill those job roles.

Low-cost certifications and free career-seeking resources will be provided to help those learning these skills find new work opportunities.

It is a comprehensive technology initiative which builds on digital technology and data. This begins with data from the LinkedIn Economic Graph on jobs and skills. This offers free access to content in LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and the GitHub Learning Lab, which is then coupled with Microsoft Certifications and LinkedIn job-seeking tools.

Further, with $20 million in cash grants, Microsoft is supporting the initiative to help non-profit organizations around the world benefit the people who need it most. One-quarter of this amount, or $5 million, will be made available in cash grants to non-profit community-based organizations led by and serving color communities in the United States. Additionally, the company pledges to make stronger data and analytics available to governments around the world, including data from the LinkedIn Economic Graph, in order to better assess local economic needs.

The global brand has made it clear that it will advocate the need to bring changes in the public policy and advance the skills required by employees especially in the evolving economy.

Microsoft also revealed that it is introducing a new learning app in Microsoft Teams designed to support workplace skills and new and existing workers upskill as people return to work and as the economy adds jobs.

Microsoft CEO“COVID-19 has created both public health and an economic crisis, and as the world recovers, we need to ensure no one is left behind.”
 Satya Nadella
CEO – Microsoft 

“The biggest brunt of the current downturn is being borne by those who can afford it the least. Unemployment rates are spiking for people of color and women, as well as younger workers, people with disabilities and individuals with less formal education. Our goal is to combine the best in technology with stronger partnerships with governments and nonprofits to help people develop the skills needed to secure a new job,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith.