Kingston, Jamaica – The Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information today signed a cooperation agreement with Microsoft Jamaica to train some 155,000 Jamaicans over a five-year period.
Speaking at the signing, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, the Honourable Fayval Williams welcomed the “Digital Skills for Employability” programme as an important initiative that will benefit groups of just over 31,000 Jamaicans each over the next five years until 2026. “We are very happy to enter this agreement with Microsoft Jamaica as we continue the push to close the digital skills gaps among Jamaicans,” she said.
“The digital economy that has emerged over recent years has created new openings in cloud computing, data analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics. These have and are transforming the organisation of labour, production and trade around the world. These require skilled people and so it is very important for employees to have specialist skills in Information Communication Technology to function in these areas,” Minister Williams added.
Country Representative for Microsoft Jamaica, Yamilé Bustamente noted that the signing underscored the commitment of both sides to the programme directed at unemployed adults in Jamaica.
“Through this initiative, we seek to bring digital learning platforms closer to people from all ages and different backgrounds, so that they can gain new technological knowledge. Also, we specially want to target young audiences so we can help them become a more efficient and future-proof workforce. Thus, we will support the Jamaican labour force to evolve at the same pace as industries, increasing its ability to get more and better jobs,” Ms. Bustamante explained.
The programme offers comprehensive virtual training for the development of digital skills, focused on key roles and techniques as well as softs skills such as learning communication and conflict resolution, teamwork, adapting to change, generation of value, and innovation and creativity.
It will also focus on key areas such as:
- Broadening the spectrum of job opportunities and increasing the chances of successfully applying to job opportunities.
- Improving performance in workplaces that use digital tools.
- Streamlining and increasing productivity in workspaces that do not currently use digital tools through their incorporation.
In the first phase, Microsoft will fund the training of 100 trainers selected by the MoEYI, which in return will extend the skills for over 155,000 Jamaicans within a 5-year period. The initial training will be delivered by Microsoft non-profit partners and fully funded by Microsoft.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of the intelligent cloud and the intelligent environment. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.