Microsoft, an American multinational tech giant, has launched a global initiative to provide 'new digital skills' to 25 million jobs-seekers in the COVID-19 economy. The initiative is aimed at empowering people, who lost their jobs owing to the coronavirus pandemic-induced economic crisis.
The tech company will be providing easier access to in-demand digital skills for people hardest-hit by job losses, including those with lower incomes, women, and underrepresented minorities, in finding newer careers in the post-economic recovery phase.
Talking about the initiative, Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft said, "The Company is focused on empowering every person, including people with disabilities. It will help 25 million people acquire digital skills, who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic for jobs of the future through its initiatives involving 'Learning content for in-demand jobs', 'Tools to Match Skills to jobs' and 'System of Learning in Teams' in addition to the existing skill-learning modalities from LinkedIn, GitHub and Microsoft."
Digital Skills For Future
"Nearly 800 million people will need to learn new skills to grow their economic opportunities by 2030, and COVID-19 has made the skills gap even more acute. Every new job will increasingly require digital skills. In next five-years, nearly 149 million new tech-jobs will be created in fields like cyber security, software development and machine learning," the CEO added.
Confirming the same, Microsoft President, Brad Smith said, "By 2025, we'll witness creation of 149 million new-tech jobs, mostly in the field of software. It will also involve people working with data, cyber security and protecting privacy."
Every sphere of economic activity, be it graphics, healthcare area, manufacturing sector, teaching will be technology driven and dependent, and will require digital skills, he added.
On impact of economic crisis and the way forward, the Company CEO, stressed on the need to ensure that nobody is left behind by addressing needs of those who are most impacted by the crisis, as we move from the initial emergency response phase, to the recovery phase, to the reimagined phase determining what should be rebuilt and redefined.
Proposing a multifaceted approach in making the initiative a success, the Company President, stressed on the importance of data to identify jobs in-demand and skills required for it; the need for free access to learning content, low-cost and subsidised certifications, and free job-seeking tools to help people close the loop, and find the job they will need for a more successful future.
Investment In Training
Stressing on the need for greater investment in employee training, Brad Smith pointed that, "Over the last 20 years, the employer investment in employee training has declined. The last 10 years, has been a decade of stagnation of employer investments in employee training."
Ryan Roslansky, CEO, LinkedIn, also pointed out that focus on 'new digital skills' has be accelerated since the pandemic, and LinkedIn is serving as a broad-based skilling platform through its various Learning Paths or LPs that help track in-demand skills, jobs and global hiring patterns.
Seconding the Microsoft President, Roslansky also pressed for the need of more investment in employee training and partnering with non-profits in helping out people in shaping a better future.
Microsoft is offering 20 million dollars in cash grants to non-profit partners in reaching out to those affected as a part of its initiatives.