Microsoft’s new global initiative helps people improve their digital skills

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Microsoft announced a new global skills initiative today that aims to teach 25 million people digital skills by the end of 2020. The initiative is in response to the economic crisis around the globe that’s occurred as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The digital skills taught through the initiative should help people find jobs that need to be filled, develops skills for jobs, and obtain certifications at a low cost.

The initiative brings together resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft to help people reskill and upskill to improve their employability. A news post from Microsoft outlines three areas that the resources will help with:

  • The use of data to identify in-demand jobs and the skills needed to fill them.
  • Free access to learning paths and content to help people develop the skills these positions require.
  • Low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs.

As part of the initiative, people have access to content on LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and the GitHub Learning Lab. Additionally, people can utilize Microsoft Certifications and LinkedIn job seeking tools. All of these resources can be accessed on LinkedIn’s website.

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In addition to making these resources available, Microsoft will provide $20 million in cash grants to help nonprofit organizations around the world. One fourth of that total will be in the form of cash grants to community-based nonprofit organizations that “are led by and serve communities of color in the United States,” according to Microsoft.

Microsoft will also make data and analytics, such as data from the LinkedIn Economic Graph, available to governments around the world to help assess local economic needs.

As part of its new post, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shared his thoughts, stating, “COVID-19 has created both a public health and an economic crisis, and as the world recovers, we need to ensure no one is left behind.” He adds, “Today, we’re bringing together resources from Microsoft inclusive of LinkedIn and GitHub to reimagine how people learn and apply new skills — and help 25 million people facing unemployment due to COVID-19 prepare for the jobs of the future.”

Microsoft also announced a new learning app within Microsoft Teams that is built to help employers teach and upskill new and returning employees.

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