Microsoft Corp announced that 300,000 South Africans have been equipped with digital skills, topping the initial target of 25 million achieved last June. The company will extend its commitment by launching new resources to assist job-seekers and over 250,000 companies make skill-based hires.
Among the people that benefited from the programme were truck drivers, retail associates, and millions of others who turned to online learning courses such as Linkedin, Github, and Microsoft. This helps people prepare and secure the rules that are most in-demand, particularly data analysis, project management, and customer service. The announcement built on the company’s efforts to assit people through the 2021 free LinkedIn Learning and other Microsoft Learn courses and other low-cost certifications aligning to 10 jobs that are in-demand.
Lillian Barnard as an MD for Microsoft South Africa points out how digital skills are “critical” for the economy and widespread unemployment challenges across South Africa. The South African economy grew by 7 percent, while the rate of unemployment shot up by 32.5 percent.
The rise in digital skills is attributed to Microsoft’s Global Skills Initiative. The program also made strategic partnerships with Afrika Tikkun (a non-profit). In October last year, Microsoft SA gave a $150,000 grant to the youth development NPO.