Microsoft today announced that a global digital-skilling initiative launched in partnership with LinkedIn has allowed more than a quarter million people in the United Arab Emirates to acquire digital skills during the COVID-19 crisis.
The achievement stems from a programme launched in June 2020 by Microsoft and LinkedIn to support companies in moving to a skills-based recruitment methodology, leaving behind legacy approaches that placed emphasis on less relevant attributes, such as previous role or age. Since the programme launched, more than 30 million people around the world – including 250,313 in the UAE – engaged with the initiative and developed digital skills. Encouraged by the progress, Microsoft and LinkedIn have decided to extend the programme and help 250,000 companies globally make skills-based hires in 2021.
“Digital resilience is more critical than ever, as businesses rely on technology to adapt and thrive in the new normal,” said Ihsan Anabtawi, Chief Operating and Marketing Officer at Microsoft UAE. “The skilling programme with LinkedIn is part of our long-term commitment to skill, upskill, and reskill workforces to make them future ready for a global, digital economy. The ongoing pandemic has impacted so many of us, so we decided to create a suite of new tools and platforms that connect skilled jobseekers with employers to ensure a strong, speedy and inclusive recovery.”
As detailed in the Official Microsoft Blog, the Microsoft-LinkedIn skilling programme empowers professionals to train in highly sought-after digital skills and offers new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft, including analytics to identify the most in-demand roles and the skills needed to fill them. Other offers include free access to course materials and job-seeking tools and reduced-cost certifications.
In 2021, Microsoft will extend free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses based on the 10 most in-demand jobs, as well as low-cost certifications, until 31 December. LinkedIn will pilot its Skills Path tool with select employers to connect LinkedIn Learning courses with Skill Assessments and help recruiters source candidates based on proven skillsets. In addition, Microsoft Career Connector will aim to place 50,000 job seekers in technology jobs over the next three years.
New LinkedIn profile features will help candidates market themselves more clearly, including via a video Cover Story. Career Coach – part of Microsoft Teams – will provide personalised guidance for higher education students, and expanded access to LinkedIn’s Skills Graph will help create a common skills language for individuals, employers, educational institutions, and government agencies.