Microsoft and British Council launch new program to enhance employability skills of young Indians

Devdiscourse News Desk | New Delhi | Updated: 29-05-2023 23:09 IST | Created: 29-05-2023 23:09 IST
Microsoft and British Council launch new program to enhance employability skills of young Indians
Representative image Image Credit: ANI
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The British Council and Microsoft India have co-developed a new 'English Skills for Youth' program aimed at enhancing the employability skills of young Indians between 18-25 years of age.

Commenting on this collaboration, Navtez Bal, executive director, Public Sector, Microsoft India, said, "Bridging the skills gap is foundational to building towards inclusive economic and societal progress in today's digital economy. Beyond imparting digital skills, it is critical to provide holistic training content including soft skills to jobseekers of tomorrow. We are excited to partner with British Council and have a deep impact on the country’s youth with in-demand skills for future-ready jobs."

The three-year program has been developed to impart English language skills to the students. The beneficiaries will also be equipped with essential underpinning skills, including collaboration, critical thinking, soft skills, and leadership abilities, offering a holistic development plan for the youth. These skills are crucial for improving employment prospects and facilitating further education opportunities.

Initially, the 'English Skills for Youth' program aims to benefit 60,000 youth and 600 teachers, with a long-term goal of reaching 400,000 youths engaged in Microsoft Philanthropies funded projects. The program will particularly focus on enrolling women learners, constituting 75% of the participants, with the aim of reducing the gender gap in the workforce.

Microsoft said that the program will be integrated into rural engineering colleges linked to the company's existing NGO/partner skilling projects for the underserved.

"Enabling young people, particularly women, with life and employment opportunities is at the core of all our work in culture, education and English so we are delighted to announce the "English Skills for Youth" program with Microsoft India. This partnership model brings together expertise in developing the range of skills such as working collaboratively, critical thinking, English communication and soft skills, and leadership skills that are crucial for the age group of 18-25 years to improve their employability opportunities," said Alison Barrett MBE, Director India, British Council.

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