Microsoft provides digital skills to 30 million learners during Covid-19

Microsoft provides digital skills to 30 million learners during Covid-19

Firm is working with LinkedIn to launch new tools to connect job seekers and employers 

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Microsoft has provided 30 million people with digital skills during Covid-19 and is partnering with LinkedInto launch new tools and platforms to connect job seekers and employers. 

Microsoft set out an initiative in July 2020 to provide digital skills to 25 million people worldwide. It is extending the project throughout 2021 by providing free LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn courses and low-cost certifications for the most in-demand jobs. 

“Over the past year, we’ve seen the pandemic hit people who can bear it the least,” said Microsoft president Brad Smith. “We are doubling down at LinkedIn and across Microsoft with new work to support a more inclusive skills-based labour market, creating more alternatives, greater flexibility, and accessible learning paths that connect these more readily with new jobs.”

To help 250,000 companies make skills-based hires in 2021, LinkedIn will provide new ways for job seekers to demonstrate their skills. For example, the firm is piloting the new LinkedIn Skills Path, which brings together LinkedIn Learning courses with Skill Assessments to help recruiters source candidates based on proven skills. New LinkedIn profile features will help users share more about themselves, their career and goals, including through a video Cover Story, and Microsoft says that expanded access to LinkedIn’s Skills Graph will provide “a common skills language for individuals, employers, educational institutions and government agencies to help improve workforce planning, hiring and development programs”. 

The partnership with LinkedIn has also seen the development of Career Coach, a Microsoft Teams for Education app powered by LinkedIn, which provides personalised guidance for higher education students to navigate their career journey. Microsoft says that a new online service, Career Connector, will also provide 50,000 job seekers with the opportunity to secure a tech-enabled job over the next three years. 

“For a long time, the way people got hired was based solely on the job they had, the degree they earned or the people they knew,” said Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn. “That’s starting to change. Workers are now better understanding and articulating the skills they have and the skills they need while businesses are looking not just at those familiar credentials but also at the skills that workers from often-overlooked communities have to get the job done. We want to help accelerate that change. 

“Since last June, Microsoft and LinkedIn have helped more than 30 million people worldwide gain access to digital skills, and today we’re extending our commitment to skills by helping 250,000 companies make a skills-based hire in 2021.”

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