In unprecedented times like these, holding onto one’s job and evolving one’s skills according to the requirements of the present times, although challenging, is extremely important. Workplace upskilling increases employees’ job satisfaction and prepares them to adapt to evolving requirements, retain their jobs, and reduce the skills gap.
In 2019, 53 per cent of Indian businesses could not hire candidates for the lack of ‘future skills.’ According to the International Labor Organisation, job positions remained unfulfilled due to the skill gap across industries. Back in 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Skill Mission programme to train over 40 crore Indians in different skill sets by 2022. Since then, global tech and telecommunication companies, including Microsoft, IBM, and CISCO, have stepped forward to set up skill training or upskillinig programmes. Additionally, many companies– PwC, Microsoft, Google and Salesforce– pledged resources to upskill their workforces.
Today, we have curated a list of upskilling programmes initiated by tech companies.
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Microsoft and SAP India announced the launch of a joint skilling programme earlier this year to empower young women students from the underserved communities of India. The skilling programme– TechSaksham— focuses on skilling 62,000 women students in artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, digital marketing, and web designing. Additionally, up to 1,000 of these skilled women will be provided with internships, jobs and micro-entrepreneurship opportunities.
Through the TechSaksham initiative, Microsoft and SAP are also partnering with AICTE Training and Learning Academy-ATAL and State Collegiate Education departments to train 1,500 teachers. These teachers will be further equipped to support and train over 50 students every year.
Amazon Upskilling 2025
Amazon has pledged to invest over $1.2 billion to provide upskilling programmes for its employees. Starting in 2019, through its programme Upskilling 2025, the tech giant will be providing training to three lakh employees till 2025 through training programmes in areas including cloud computing and machine learning. Additionally, the company will be providing college tuition for its front-line employees.
Interestingly, through Amazon’s new programme– AWS Grow Our Own Talent, the tech giant supports its employees by providing them on-the-job training and development. Through the programme, Amazon helps individuals with nontraditional experience and backgrounds develop skills in data centre roles– data centre technicians, engineering operations technicians, etc., over six months.
Earlier in 2019, Salesforce pledged to upskill half a million US workers for free of cost through its free online learning platform, Trailhead. The California-headquartered software company estimates to generate more than three million new jobs through its partnerships and customers in the next three years. In addition, individuals can get access to public speaking courses, career development training, soft skills, and tech training skills in AI and mobile app basics.
In an Indian context, Salesforce launched a free online upskilling programme (#Journey2Salesforce) for non-Salesforce professionals in India.
Grow with Google
Usually ahead of its time, Google launched an upskilling initiative in 2017 to help individuals or businesses acquire skills that they need to get a job or grow their business. For the Grow with Google initiative, the tech giant pledged $1 billion in Google.org grants over five years to nonprofits across the globe. Additionally, it has promised one million hours of Google employees that can be used for volunteering at nonprofits. The programme features training, including understanding the basics of machine learning, skill shops, cloud platforms, analytics, machine learning courses, etc.
Individuals and businesses can select among– going digital, business growth, career growth, starting a career, remote work, to suit their business and career goals.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft launched an initiative to help up to 25 million people across the globe to help them acquire digital skills. The global skills initiative combines existing and new in-house resources, along with resources from GitHub and LinkedIn to help individuals:
- Use data and identify the skills required to fill in-demand jobs
- Provide free access to learning paths and content for upskilling
- Provide access to low-cost certifications and job-seeking tools to help develop the new skills