Microsoft today announced a new global skills initiative aimed at bringing digital skills to 25 million people worldwide, including 100,000 in New Zealand by the end of the year. The announcement comes in response to the global economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen New Zealand’s unemployment rate rise. This initiative, detailed on the Official Microsoft Blog, includes immediate steps to help those looking to reskill and pursue an in-demand job, combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub and Microsoft. This includes:
- Data and analytics. Using data to understand the most in-demand skill and jobs.
- Free learning resources. Offer access to free learning paths through the end of 2020 and free content from across Microsoft, LinkedIn and GitHub to help people develop the skills needed for these in-demand jobs. The resources can be accessed at: https://opportunity.linkedin.com/.
- Connecting skills to opportunities. Providing low-cost access to industry-recognised certifications through the end of the year and access to free powerful job-seeker tools that will help people get hired once they have the skills and certifications.
Digital skills for New Zealand job seekers
In New Zealand, Microsoft will collaborate with a range of partners, including leading recruitment agency Adecco, to provide free learning resources to job seekers. This new partnership with Adecco will give tens of thousands of New Zealand job seekers access to the technical skills necessary to apply for some of the country’s most in-demand jobs, combined with Adecco’s career coaching services. Teresa Moore, CEO of the Adecco Group New Zealand, said “We understand the prospect of reskilling can be intimidating, that is why we are excited to work with Microsoft to bring this new initiative to candidates and associates across the Adecco Group. COVID has affected careers and we believe the opportunity to develop new skills will assist job seekers greatly in the unpredictable post-coronavirus labour market.”
This initiative builds on Microsoft’s existing support for initiatives like Be Lab’s “Be Employed”, which connects people with disabilities with leading employers, and TupuToa’s Internship programme, which provides professional opportunities for Māori and Pacific tertiary students. Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director, Microsoft New Zealand said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event. The rebuild is already underway in some areas of the economy, however we know that the skills required to fill many of these new jobs are different to the skillsets of the wider workforce. The digital transformation of the economy is driving demand for tech-enabled jobs across almost every industry and with it demand for people with digital skills.”
Additional quotes from Microsoft executives:
“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,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “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.”
“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,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “A key step in accelerating economic recovery – and ensuring that recovery is inclusive – is to provide easier access to digital skills for those hardest hit by job losses, including people with lower incomes, women, and underrepresented minorities.”
“Creating opportunity for every member of the global workforce drives everything we do at LinkedIn,” said LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky. “As a part of the Microsoft ecosystem, we have the unique ability to help job seekers around the world – especially those who have been disproportionately disadvantaged during the COVID-19 crisis – gain the skills and find the jobs they deserve. We’re proud to be bringing the right data about what the jobs and skills of the future will be to create the right learning paths to help 25 million job seekers find their next opportunities. We’re making it all available at opportunity.linkedin.com.”
More information can be found at the Microsoft microsite news.microsoft.com/skills.