Microsoft has partnered with JA Asia Pacific, the world’s largest youth-serving non-profit organization, and CloudSwyft, a leading cloud-based learning platform provider, to launch a regional skilling program aimed at bringing skills resources and accelerating paths to employment for more than 60,000 people in Asia Pacific, including 4,000 from the Philippines.
Launching in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, the program will see joint efforts to reskill, cross-skill and upskill young adults, especially those in underserved communities. This program is an extension of Microsoft’s broader Global Skilling Initiative to help people hardest hit by job losses acquire digital skills.
“COVID-19 has accelerated the shift towards a digital economy, and organizations here in the Philippines are requiring greater digital skills from talents so that their businesses can adapt and thrive in this new environment” said Andres Ortola, Country General Manager of Microsoft Philippines. “Along with various partners here in the country, we have already helped over 150,000 Filipinos gain digitals skills during COVID-19. With this new program with JA Asia Pacific and CloudSwyft, more Filipinos will have much-needed digital skills to enhance their employment opportunities.”
The program is projected to involve over 60,000 participants from across the region in the first year, including 4,000 from the Philippines.
Already, Microsoft Philippines has partnered with the Department of Education (DEPED) to implement the program. Participants will begin their training with an orientation via webinars, introducing them to career paths involving digital skills, data science courses as well lab assessments by CloudSwyft, to assess learning and understanding. These courses will also be offered in local languages including Tagalog, easing the barrier to entry and make it more accessible to everyone.
Participants who complete the orientation will receive digital credentials, certified by Microsoft, JA Asia Pacific and CloudSwyft, to showcase on their professional portfolio and LinkedIn profile.
“As an organization dedicated to empowering youth and preparing them for the jobs of the future, we understand the hurdles people are currently facing when it comes to employment and employability,” said Maziar Sabet, President and CEO of JA Asia Pacific. “We share a common goal with our partners Microsoft and CloudSwyft, in that we want to continue empowering and grooming local talent for the jobs of the future. With 2021 signifying a fresh start for many, we hope to provide more avenues for those who need support through skills training and mentorship, ultimately leading to greater career success and satisfaction.”
Also commenting on the partnership is Dann Angelo De Guzman, Founder and CEO of CloudSwyft, “Part and parcel of every person’s professional growth is upskilling. It is never a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’, and for many – the time is now. As the battle against COVID-19 rages on, more and more organizations are turning to technology to mitigate the disruption caused and continue operating under the given circumstances. These technologies are intended to sustain businesses, but they can only do so effectively with the right talent on-board. In addition to providing crucial digital skills training to communities in the Philippines, our skilling program will be invaluable in supporting business and economic growth, preparing a future-ready workforce to catapult the nation to future success.”
“There are a lot of Filipinos, particularly from underprivileged communities who are eager to learn so that they can have better lives and contribute to Philippine society,” said Zaldy Reliquias, Division Curriculum Chief of the Department of Education. “Our partnership with Microsoft aims to enhance the opportunities for these people by providing them with the necessary skills to succeed in the digital economy.”
In tandem with this program, Microsoft is extending its Global Skilling Initiative by bringing skills resources to everyone, everywhere and meeting them where they are. All of the courses that align to 10 of the most in-demand jobs as well as critical soft skills and digital transformation courses on LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn will continue to be made free till the end of 2021. Microsoft will further extend the low-cost certification offer to students, on top of the commitment to people whose jobs and livelihoods were disrupted by COVID-19.
Learners on LinkedIn Learning can also look forward to a new skills insight feature which will surface the fastest growing and most common skills needed based on their current role to help them better understand the skills gaps they need to fill to progress in their role.
To support job seekers and career changers find new doors of opportunities, the LinkedIn’s Skills Path program will introduce a new system of skills-first hiring that helps companies find new talent pools of pre-qualified candidates with the skills required for specific roles. The platform will also support job seekers in showcasing their skills and personality with a new profile cover story video feature that enables people share their passions, experiences, and skills.
“We will continue to partner with the government, NGOs, and the private sector and increase our efforts to ensure that more Filipinos are equipped with the necessary digital skills for the present and the future. We are optimistic that through these partnerships, more opportunities will open up for Filipino talents that would pave the way for an inclusive economic recovery for the country,” said Microsoft’s Ortola.