Microsoft to help 25 million people worldwide acquire new digital skills needed for the COVID-19 economy

REDMOND, Wash. — June 30, 2020 — Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced a new
global skills initiative aimed at bringing more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by
the end of the year.

The announcement comes in response to the global economic crisis caused by the
COVID-19 pandemic. Expanded access to digital skills is an important step in accelerating
economic recovery, especially for the people hardest hit by job losses.

This initiative, detailed on the Official Microsoft Blog, includes immediate steps to help
those looking to reskill and pursue an in-demand job and brings together every part of the
company, combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub and Microsoft. This

  • 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
  • Low-cost certifications and free job-seeking tools to help people who develop these skills pursue new jobs.

This is a comprehensive technology initiative that will build on data and digital
technology. It starts with data on jobs and skills from the LinkedIn Economic Graph. It provides
free access to content in LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and the GitHub Learning Lab, and
couples these with Microsoft Certifications and LinkedIn job-seeking tools. These resources can
all be accessed at a central location,, and will be broadly available
online in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish.

In addition, Microsoft is backing the effort with $20 million in cash grants to help
nonprofit organizations worldwide assist the people who need it most. One-quarter of this total,
or $5 million, will be provided in cash grants to community-based nonprofit organizations that
are led by and serve communities of color in the United States. The company is also pledging to
make stronger data and analytics — including data from the LinkedIn Economic Graph —
available to governments around the world so they can better assess local economic needs.

Microsoft will use its voice to advocate for public policy innovations that will advance
skilling opportunities needed in the changed economy.

Microsoft also announced that it is creating a new learning app in Microsoft Teams
designed to help employers skill and upskill new and current employees as people return to work
and as the economy adds jobs.

“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.”

“The biggest brunt of the current downturn is being borne by those who can afford it the
least,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “Unemployment rates are spiking for people of
color and women, as well as younger workers, people with disabilities, and individuals who have
less formal education. Our goal is to combine the best in technology with stronger partnerships
with governments and nonprofits to help people develop the skills needed to secure a new job.”

“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”

More information can be found at the Microsoft microsite