Microsoft and LinkedIn will train the unemployed for free

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Microsoft aims to provide additional skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year through the program for jobs as a software developer, customer service specialist and graphic designer.

Microsoft Corp. and its LinkedIn unit will offer free job training to help unemployed workers prepare for jobs in demand as the global pandemic pushes US unemployment to levels as bad as the Great Depression.

The program uses data from LinkedIn to find the jobs that employers most want to fill, and offers free access to content that helps workers develop the required skills. The company will also cut the cost of its certification exams and offer free job search tools. Microsoft aims to provide additional skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year through the Software Developer Jobs Program, customer service specialist and graphic designer.

Microsoft said its calculations show that global unemployment could affect 250 million people this year. The U.S. unemployment rate was 13.3% in May, the highest level since 1940, as the coronavirus forced the closure of shops, restaurants, and bars, with higher unemployment rates among black and Latino workers. . While parts of the economy are beginning to reopen in the US, companies are also closing, filing for bankruptcy or announcing permanent job cuts to adapt to a long-term slowdown.

In January, Microsoft began working on a plan for a smaller program in the spirit of highlighting tools to address a long-term shift toward jobs that are becoming increasingly digital. When covid-19 arrived, the company decided to expand the program to reach more workers and faster, said Brad Smith, Microsoft president, in an interview.

Microsoft used data from LinkedIn to reach 10 roles with the highest number of vacancies, Steady growth in the past four years, “tolerable” wages and skills that can be learned online, the company said Tuesday in a blog post. These include: software developer, sales representative, data analyst, customer service specialist, and graphic designer.

Part of the original program that has been expanded in the wake of the pandemic is funding for nonprofit groups to communicate with people who might not otherwise know about the program or who cannot do everything online. Microsoft will spend $ 20 million in cash grants for global nonprofits with the goal of helping 5 million unemployed workers this year. The effort will focus particularly on people with disabilities, workers in low-income communities, women and minorities. A quarter of the money will go to grants to 50 US community-based nonprofits run by communities of color and serving, Microsoft said.

“Someone who is unemployed needs to know what to learn. We give them access to that learning material for free for areas where we know there are recruiters and hiring managers waiting to hire them,” said Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn.

LinkedIn also plans to provide its own labor market data and skills-in-demand information free of charge to governments. The data will include popular job openings in a region, the main skills required for those jobs, and data on which employers hire the most in a particular geography. The data will be available at opportunity.linkedin.com.



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