Microsoft Corp announced a new global skills initiative that aimed at bringing more digital skills to around 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year on Tuesday. The announcement comes in response to the global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Expanded access to the digital skills is an important step in an accelerating economic recovery, as especially for the people hardest hit by job losses, as the company told in a blog post.
“COVID-19 has created both public health as well as an economic crisis. As we move from the initial emergencies that the response phase to the recovery phase to the re-imagine phase, that determining what should be rebuilt, what should be redefined, we really need to assure that no one is left behind, and address the needs of these most impacted by this crisis,” as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told in a webcast.
He added that it’s been forecasted around 800 million people need to learn new skills for their jobs by 2030.
“COVID-19 has made the skills gap even more acute. It’s exacerbating economic inequity. People of the color, people with disabilities, women,that early in career workers in these who have less formal education are bearing the brunt of this unemployment crisis as well. For those who still have jobs, it’s changing not only how they work, but what they work on,” Nadella said.
He added that the each and every job will increasingly require digital skills, and also in the next five years, nearly around 149 million new technical jobs will be created in fields like software development, cybersecurity, and also AI machine learning and many more.
“Talent is everywhere, but the opportunities are not. Over and over again, we see that when people have access to education and skilling they create new economic opportunities for themselves, as well as their communities,” he said.
“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,” he said.
Microsoft said it will use its voice to advocate for public policy innovations that will advance skilling opportunities needed in the changing economy. It additionally announced creating a new learning app in the Microsoft Teams, designed to help employers skill and also upskill new and the current employees as people return to work and as the economy adds jobs.