Microsoft India and the British Council, the international organisation for educational opportunities, have signed a memorandum of understanding for a three-year partnership programme that aims to improve the life opportunities available to young people in India.
The programme, ‘English Skills for Youth’, is aimed at people aged between 18-25, particularly women, living in socio-economically marginalised communities across India and will help participants develop English language skills amongst other employability skills such as collaboration and leadership.
The solution will be integrated into rural engineering colleges that are already linked to Microsoft’s existing non-profit projects and will focus on three key aspects: the capacity building of English faculty and placement officers in state engineering colleges across India, facilitating the development of English skills for students and women in particular, and establishing an interface with industry through joint thought leadership forums organised by Microsoft and the British Council that focus on multilingualism in the workplace.
“Bridging the skills gap is foundational to building towards inclusive economic and societal progress in today’s digital economy,” said Navtez Bal, executive director of the public sector at Microsoft India. “Beyond imparting digital skills, it is critical to provide holistic training content including soft skills to the jobseekers of tomorrow. We are excited to partner with British Council and have deep impact on the country’s youth with in-demand skills for future-ready jobs.”
During a three-year pilot phase, the project aims to reach 60,000 young people and 600 teachers, with a long-term goal of having 400,000 people engaged in projects funded by Microsoft Philanthropies.