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Microsoft and India’s Ministry of Labour to skill 10 million jobseekers

The initiative aims to equip jobseekers with the skills to bridge India’s digital divide

Microsoft and India’s Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) have partnered to launch DigiSaksham, a free collaborative digital skills training initiative to equip jobseekers with the expertise to bridge India’s digital divide.

The programme aims to provide 10 million jobseekers on the National Career Service (NCS) platform access to the tech giant’s Global Skills Initiative, to help with computing and computer science training, low-cost certifications, and free job-seeking tools.

In its first year, it also aims to train over 300,000 jobseekers in programming languages, data analytics, software development fundamentals, and advanced digital productivity through online training and in-person workshops. Some of the courses for the first year include Excel, Python, Azure, Java, and Security Fundamentals.

The initiative is billed as an extension of the government’s ongoing commitment to upskill youth from rural and semi-urban areas to enhance their employability. It will be implemented in the field by Aga Khan Rural Support Programme India (AKRSP-I), a development NGO that provides support to local communities.

“Our collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Employment reflects our commitment to bridge the digital equity gap and empower the youth of India to succeed in a digital economy," said Anant Maheshwari, president at Microsoft India. "We have a unique opportunity to become an increasingly important tech engine of the world. Providing equal opportunity and access to digital skills for all will be the key to long-term economic and social value creation for India.”

DigiSaksham is part of Microsoft’s global commitment to help 25 million people acquire digital skills in a COVID-19 economy. The programme will directly train 300,000 jobseekers through online training on the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) platform and in-person workshops at career centres. AKRSP-I will also organise instructor-led boot camps on emerging technologies like cloud, AI, and data analytics to reach 2400 jobseekers across four career centres.

In August, SAP India and Microsoft launched a tech skilling programme for 62,000 women in the country, focusing on artificial intelligence, cloud computing, web design, and digital marketing. It also hoped to offer technology boot camps and opportunities to consult with industry experts for knowledge sharing and career guidance.

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