Impact doubled since 2021: Microsoft helps 630’000 people grow their digital skills in Switzerland

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Zurich, 30. November 2022. Since the launch in 2020, Microsoft has been successfully driving its skilling initiative “Skills for Switzerland”.

  • To date, nearly 630,000 people in Switzerland have gained new digital skills – more than double compared to 2021
  • Globally, Microsoft has committed to help upskill 10 million people by providing free access to 350 courses, six new Career Essentials Certificates, and 50,000 LinkedIn Learning Scholarships
  • Upskilling digital skills is critical to support acceleration of digital transformation in Switzerland, ensuring competitiveness and innovation power of the country

Today, Microsoft and LinkedIn announced the next step in the Skills for Jobs program, providing people free access to 350 courses and six new Career Essentials Certificates for six of the most in-demand jobs in the digital economy. Microsoft and LinkedIn will also be offering 50,000 LinkedIn Learning scholarships to help people get ahead in their skilling journey. By 2025, Microsoft will help train and certify 10 million people with skills for in demand jobs globally. Today’s launch builds on the Global Skills Initiative, which helped 80 million jobseekers around the world access digital skilling resources.

In Switzerland, Microsoft launched the Skills for Switzerland learning platform together with the Adecco Group Switzerland nearly two years ago. The goal of the initiative is to work with communities, non-profits, and government organizations like Power Coders or regional employment centers to help underrepresented groups, job seekers, students, and the wider Swiss workforce gain the foundational, role-based, and technical skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

“Digitization will continue to change the world around us, and in light of the digital skills shortage in Switzerland, we must ensure that everyone has access to digital skills,” says Catrin Hinkel, CEO of Microsoft Switzerland. “Through our Skills for Switzerland initiative, we have been able to help over half a million people with education and training already. We will continue to invest in partnerships with organizations like Adecco, the CyberPeace Institute, and Swiss universities to equip everyone with the knowledge and capabilities needed to succeed in today’s workplace.”

According to the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the skills shortage affects all industries. However, given the accelerating digital transformation the field of IT is growing overproportionally – and so is the need for digital skills. According to the Skilled Worker Shortage Index from Adecco and the University of Zurich, the situation is coming to a record high, especially in technical roles.

Since its foundation, Skills for Switzerland has been consistently growing: close to 630,000 learners in Switzerland have engaged since the start in June 2020 to gain exactly these much needed digital skills – the number has more than doubled compared to the previous year. Nearly 10,000 of them have completed at least one learning path. The top three learning paths include AI fundamentals, creating PowerApps, and managing collaboration Teams.

In addition, Microsoft Switzerland and the CyberPeace Institute have teamed-up under the Skills for Switzerland initiative to create a unique offer and launched the first Cyber School in November 2022, an 8-week virtual program for jobseekers, refugees, students and women, who are interested to take their first step into a cybersecurity career path. More than 300 people applied for this first round, and another online program will start in March 2023.

New learning paths available

Using data from LinkedIn and the Burning Glass Institute, Microsoft analyzed job listings to determine six of the roles in greatest demand: Administrative Professional, Project Manager, Business Analyst, Systems Administrator, Software Developer or Data Analyst. The new courses and certificates will be offered in seven languages, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese. This expansion builds on Microsoft’s commitment to supporting inclusive economic opportunity so learners around the world have equitable access to the skills, technology, and opportunity needed to succeed in a digitizing economy.

The new Career Essentials Certificates are designed to help learners bridge the gap from basic digital literacy to more advanced technical skills training and gain certifications that will be valuable to securing employment. Once a learning pathway is completed, learners will receive a LinkedIn badge to denote their certificate and indicate fluency in the skillset to employers.

All courses are available on LinkedIn at opportunity.linkedin.com. In addition, Microsoft-developed courses are also available on Microsoft Community Training (MCT) and in downloadable format for use on other Learning Management Systems (LMS) for nonprofit partners.

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