Microsoft, Google launch initiatives to help workers reskill for post-pandemic world

Microsoft and Google have both announced new initiatives aimed at helping people learn the digital skills they'll need to find jobs once countries around the world reopen after the pandemic.

Microsoft is launching a new global skills initiative which will bring more digital skills to 25m people worldwide by the end of the year. To help its initiative be successful, the software giant will bring together every part of its company by combining both existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub and Microsoft.

Microsoft's initiative will use data on jobs and skills from the LinkedIn Economic Graph to identify in-demand jobs as well as the skills needed to fill them. The company will also provide free access to content on LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and the GitHub Learning Lab. Low-cost Microsoft certifications will also be made available to these job seekers.

In addition to these free resources, Microsoft is backing the effort with $20m in cash grants to help nonprofit organizations worldwide assist those who need it the most.

Microsoft is also currently developing a new learning app in Microsoft Teams to help employers upskill both new and existing employees. The company has even pledged to make stronger data and analytics available to governments around the world so the can better assess local economic needs.

Closing the digital skills gap

Even before the pandemic began, Google realized that the jobs of the future would require a new set of digital skills which is why it launched Grow with Google. In the five years since the program began, the search giant has trained over 14m people in EMEA and 70m around the world.

Now to help people find new job opportunities, Google is launching its job search tools in more countries in EMEA. The company is also testing new features aimed specifically at the post-pandemic world such as helping people find jobs that allow them to work from home.

When it comes to helping local businesses, Google my Business is making it easier for businesses to share their latest opening hours and information across both Google Search and Maps. The improved version of Grow My Store also helps local businesses improve digital shopping, grow customer traffic and optimize their online stores.

Google also recently announced a new $800m commitment to support small and medium sized businesses and crisis response. The commitment includes $340m in Google Ad credits for SMBs as well as a $200m investment fund to support NGOs and financial institutions provide small businesses with access to capital.

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