Moving forward to empower young Thais with IT skills for greater opportunity in AEC
Microsoft (Thailand) Limited team accepted a Gold Level AMCHAM CSR Excellence (ACE) Recognition award from Mr.Patrick Murphy, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States in Bangkok (3rd left) and Matt Bradley, President of AMCHAM (3rd right)
Bangkok – 22 December 2014 – Microsoft (Thailand) Limited has been awarded a Gold Level AMCHAM CSR Excellence (ACE) Recognition award by the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM) in acknowledgement of the achievements of the Microsoft YouthSpark Program. The company’s global initiative has created opportunities for more than 227 million young people around the world, aiming to empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship. In Thailand alone the program has provided 42,000 youth with funding, technology, and training in IT skills.
This year, Microsoft has been promoted to Gold Status of the ACE Recognition for having received the award more than five consecutive years. In addition, the company received a Creative Partnership Designation award for its work towards promoting creativity and innovation in the spirit of the Thai-US Creative Partnership Initiative.
Matt Bradley, President of AMCHAM, said, “The ACE program was established to recognize AMCHAM members’ best practices in CSR. ACE applauds companies who demonstrate an understanding of the linkages between business and society, and operate in a way that creates sustainable long-term economic and social value.
“I congratulate Microsoft Thailand for their continual dedication and success in CSR. Microsoft is truly committed to transforming society, economy, and education nationwide by deploying its world-class IT expertise. The result is a new level of prosperity and quality of life for Thais, especially the younger generation through programs such as YouthSpark.”
Microsoft (Thailand) has received a total of six CSR awards, and was the Top 11 Global Winner of the 2012 US State Department Award for Corporate Excellence for the company’s youth and education programs in Thailand. These include the Community Technology Skills Center Program (2007); MultiPoint Mouse, a project under the Partners in Learning program (2009); youth software development competition Imagine Cup (2010); the “Building Employability through Technology and Entrepreneurship Resources” (BETTER) program (2011 and 2012); and now the 2014 ACE for YouthSpark.
YouthSpark program aims to empower more than 300 million youths worldwide including in Thailand to unleash their imagination and realize their potential by connecting them with greater education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Somsak Mukdavannakorn, Public Sector Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, said, “Education and youth are at the heart of everything we do at Microsoft. We have robust programs serving primary and secondary schools and universities, as well as startups and young entrepreneurs. YouthSpark is one of these programs, and aims to create opportunities for rural youth across Thailand. There are four programs under YouthSpark that have initiated fundraising activities, increased access to technology, and provided ICT and entrepreneurship training.”
As the technology sector continues to drive economic growth in Asia, youth with ICT skills will find themselves better qualified for new employment and entrepreneurial activities. According to the World Bank study “Connecting to Work”, in India, for example, jobs in the ICT industry pay up to twice what service-sector jobs pay, whereas in the Philippines an entry-level tech job pays, on average, 38 percent more than minimum wage.
Microsoft YouthSpark also offers the Innovate for Good program, through which youth innovator Lipda Jaruthien and Thammasat University classmates created an augmented reality app for wheelchair users, Wheel-Go-Round, which promotes wheelchair accessibility in Bangkok. Their efforts have paid off with the successful rollout of the app in the Microsoft Windows Store and winning a gold medal in the Mekong Business Challenge 2013/14. Through Innovate for Good, the team had direct access to IT experts who shared valuable insights and technical advice on every aspect of app development, including user design.
Mr. Mukdavannakorn went on: “Microsoft applauds the Government’s ambitious goal of moving the country towards a Digital Economy. As a global leader in technology innovation that has made significant investments in Thailand for over 20 years, we have always believe that Thailand has tremendous potential to achieve significant progress in the digital world, among the key components being creative youth, motivated teachers, an educated workforce, and a large and robust SME sector.”
Microsoft works with local NGOs such as the National Council for Children and Youth Development (NCYD), the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), and the Research Center of Communication and Development Knowledge Management (CCDKM) on YouthSpark programs. Microsoft also partners with government agencies such as OBEC on the Partners in Learning (PiL) program, which helps build networks of teachers equipped with the skills to deploy technology for greater educational impact. PiL has trained over 8 million students and 550,000 teachers and educators. The BETTER program with the Department of Skill Development of the Ministry of Labor similarly provided basic IT skills training to the labor force and SMEs which reached more than 300,000 people.
Ms. Lipda Jaruthien (1st left) and the Wheel-Go-Round team. A group of young social entrepreneurs dedicated to make life for wheelchair users easier through updated information on accessibility in Bangkok.
The “We Heart” team of King Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi and Chulalongkorn University, winners of the YouthSpark Imagine Cup Thailand 2014, World Citizenship Category. The app combats HIV and AIDS stigma, encourages early testing, and reminds people living with HIV to take their medication on time.
About Microsoft Thailand
Established in 1993, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited aims to Make 70 Million Lives Better by enabling Thai people and businesses to realize their full potential through technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. We offer software, services, and devices that deliver new opportunities, greater convenience, and enhanced value to people’s lives. Microsoft and its partners are committed to working with the government, organizations and people across Thailand to fully harness the power of technology and innovation.
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For more information, press only:
Pornravee Suramool or Wichayakorn Jarubundit
Hill+Knowlton Strategies Thailand
Tel: 0-2627-3501 ext. 110, 105 or 081-735-9213, 087-325-0410