A year after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, many countries like the Philippines are still on lockdown with limited economic activity. The resulting unemployment accelerated a hiring trend in the job market—it mattered more that a candidate possessed the skills needed to succeed in a job rather than having traditional qualifications.
Workers have expressed a desire to learn and build their skills. Globally, people have spent 43 million hours acquiring a new skill in 2020. Organizations are recognizing the importance of skills. In fact, in APAC, 77% of hiring managers and recruiters have made skills and competencies the focus of job descriptions at least once in the last year.
Last year, Microsoft and LinkedIn noticed a potentially growing skills gap and committed to helping 25 million people build digital skills for in-demand jobs through various initiatives. They’ve helped over 30 million people globally get reskilled for these jobs. In Asia, they’ve seen close to 5.5 million people build new digital skills through these initiatives to succeed in the reshaped digital economy.
“More and more, we are seeing skills becoming the new currency in our world of work. We’ve seen people worldwide express a desire to learn and build their skills,” said Olivier Legrand, managing director and VP, LinkedIn Asia Pacific and China. “Organizations, too, are hiring based on skills instead of traditional qualifications. LinkedIn, together with Microsoft, is committed to helping everyone shift toward a skills-based economy. In 2021, we will continue our efforts to equip job seekers with the right resources to pick up new skills and connect them to opportunities, as well as aim to help organizations make a skills-first hire.”
Free LinkedIn Learning
This year, LinkedIn and Microsoft want to help more people understand, develop, and connect their skills with opportunities. They will offer free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses and low-cost certifications that align with 10 of the most in-demand jobs through Dec. 31, 2021. They will also provide new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft to help everyone — students, jobseekers, members, employers — move to a skills-based future.
LinkedIn also designed courses and services that will cater to freelancers, brands, organizations. The professional networking site will also add features that include video content creation, personalized profile design, page creation essentials, among others.
These efforts build on LinkedIn and Microsoft’s previous initiatives to bring the ecosystem together to support the reskilling of Asia’s workforce for inclusive economic recovery.
In the fiscal year 2020, Microsoft worked with governments and more than 30 non-profits across Asia to increase the employability of 1.2 million people entering the labor market.
Microsoft continues its pursuit of social inclusion through skills development by bringing skills resources to everyone, everywhere, and meeting them where they are by extending its commitments to support educational institutions and NGOs.
Microsoft plans to invest $50 million in over 150 non-profits to skill 5 million underserved individuals and connect them to jobs and livelihood opportunities worldwide. Today, anyone can work from anywhere, no matter where they are located, which opens up a wealth of opportunities to those with the right skills competencies to secure new employment.
The recent announcement builds on Microsoft and LinkedIn’s global skills initiative harnessing digital technology and data on jobs and skills from the LinkedIn Economic Graph, free access to LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and the GitHub Learning Lab, and Microsoft Certifications and LinkedIn job-seeking tools, which can all be accessed at opportunity.linkedin.com.
Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2018.