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Microsoft, LinkedIn, to give digital skills to 10m

The Skills for Jobs programme will provide free access to 350 courses and six Career Essentials Certificates for the most in-demand jobs in the digital economy.

Microsoft and LinkedIn have announced the next step in the Skills for Jobs programme, aimed ay providing free access to 350 courses and six new Career Essentials Certificates for six of the most in-demand jobs in the digital economy.

The two companies will also offer 50,000 LinkedIn Learning scholarships to help people in their skilling journey. By 2025, says Microsoft, it will help train and certify 10-million people with skills for in demand jobs. The launch builds on the Global Skills Initiative, which helped 80-million jobseekers around the world access digital skilling resources.

Locally, the Global Skills initiative has helped over 680,000 people gain access to digital skills with more than 30,000 learning paths completed since July 2020, including 460 professional Microsoft certifications obtained. Certifications included Azure Fundamentals, Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate, Power BI Analyst Associate, Microsoft Azure Developer Associate, and Fundamentals.

Popular Microsoft Learn paths completed included Get Started with Artificial Intelligence, Create Powerapps, Create Use Analytics Reports, M365 Manage Team Collaboration, and Power Platform Fundamentals. Popular LinkedIn Learning courses were Project Manager, Sales Development, Customer Service, Critical Soft Skills, and Data Analyst.

Using data from LinkedIn and the Burning Glass Institute, Microsoft analysed 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 digitising economy.

“A declining economy and a high unemployment rate remain key challenges in our country,” says Lillian Barnard, CEO of Microsoft South Africa. “Digital skills are now more important than ever as almost every job requires some level of digital competence. The new courses and certificates aim to empower unemployed South Africans by providing them with the relevant digital skills to secure in-demand jobs in the digital 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 receive a LinkedIn badge to denote their certificate and indicate fluency in the skillset to employers.

  • All courses are available on LinkedIn at 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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