Last week, Microsoft Corp. announced the progress made since launching its ambitious global skills initiative aimed at helping 25 million people worldwide gain more digital skills in 2020.
In the three months since the launch of the initiative, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub have reached 10 million learners in 231 countries and territories through opportunity.linkedin.com.
Across 21 markets in Asia Pacific, there have been close to 1,552,000 learners reached through the initiative. Philippines ranked 27th globally in its skilling progress, having reached close to 53,000 learners. Globally, the most popular in-demand learning paths are Software Developer, Customer Service Specialist, and Data Analyst.
“COVID-19 has accelerated the need for upskilling and transformed the future of work for communities in the Philippines. Addressing and closing the skills gap is an urgent task, key to inclusive economic recovery, and digital transformation. While we are close to the halfway point of our goal to help 25 million people globally—and making meaningful headway here in the Philippines—we continue to strive in our commitment to drive societal progress and help improve lives of people by advancing their capabilities and expertise. We’re thankful to our collaborators and partners in this effort for helping us ensure the sustainability of these programs and scale up their impact to Filipinos nationwide,” said Microsoft Philippines Country General Manager Andres Ortola.
Translating this global initiative in the Philippines is a strategic imperative within Microsoft’s nation-building agenda for the country. That agenda, known as its Para sa Bayan program, ultimately aims to positively impact 25 million Filipinos over the next three years by stimulating digital transformation, building coalitions for responsible innovation, closing the skills gap and enhancing employability, and creating sustainable societal impact. Within this greater effort are strategic programs and partnerships aimed towards students, government agencies, private organizations, communities, and associations.
In partnership with the Department of Education (DEPED), over 20 million public-school students from K-12, junior high and senior high will be given Microsoft 365 accounts to enable their online learning experience. As of last Friday, October 2, 2020, 18.5 million accounts had been successfully rolled out in time for the opening of the new school year this week. Microsoft will continue to support DEPED’s efforts with training and teacher enablement for 48,000 schools in the coming months.
To close the skills gap of Filipino workers and enhance employability, Microsoft recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Information & Communication Technology (DICT) to upskill government employees with digital literacy.
In addition to this, programs in collaboration with the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) and even organizations that have experienced retrenchments in recent months such as ABS CBN, are also currently underway.