Technology

Microsoft launches global initiative to provide digital skills in a COVID-19 economy

Through the new program, Microsoft seeks to bring digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year

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  • Tools, training, and certifications will be available online to people in multiple languages through Microsoft’s new program;
  • The company will further provide $20 million in financial grants, plus technical support, to nonprofit organizations around the world.

Global giant Microsoft announced on Tuesday that is rolling out a global skills initiative aimed at bringing more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year.

The program will combine resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft and it will take place by using data to identify in-demand jobs and skills needed to fill them; providing free access to learning paths and content to help people develop these skills; as well as contributing with low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs.

“Within only a few months, COVID-19 has provoked a massive demand shock, setting off job losses that far exceed the scale of the Great Recession a decade ago,” the company stated in a memo. “The world will need a broad economic recovery that will require in part the development of new skills among a substantial part of the global workforce.”

Microsoft will also back the initiative with $20 million in cash grants to help nonprofit organizations worldwide assist those most affected by unemployment. In Latin America, the firm will join forces with the nonprofit institution Trust for the Americas, in a partnership that, according to Microsoft, have already launched 200 centers across 19 countries in the region.

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The company also announced that is developing a new learning app in Microsoft Teams to help employers upskill new and existing employees. “This will bring together best in class content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, third-party training providers, and a company’s own learning content and make it all available in a place where employees can easily learn in the flow of their work.”