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Microsoft launches free digital skills training amid coronavirus pandemic

Microsoft has launched a new initiative to offer digital skills training to 25 million people globally by the end of the year.

The tech giant will provide free access to educational content via LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and the GitHub Learning Lab.

In a blog post, the company's president Brad Smith said: "Around the world, 2020 has emerged as one of the most challenging years in many of our lifetimes.

"In six months, the world has endured multiple challenges, including a pandemic that has spurred a global economic crisis.

"As societies reopen, it's apparent that the economy in July will not be what it was in January.

"Increasingly, one of the key steps needed to foster a safe and successful economic recovery is expanded access to the digital skills needed to fill new jobs.

"And one of the keys to a genuinely inclusive recovery are programs to provide easier access to digital skills for people hardest hit by job losses, including those with lower incomes, women, and underrepresented minorities."

It's said the initiative will look to identify in-demand jobs while providing access to free training and low-cost certifications to help people.

Meanwhile, Smith added: "In addition, Microsoft is backing the effort with $20 million in cash grants to help nonprofit organisations worldwide assist the people who need it most.

"One-quarter of this total, or $5 million, will be provided in cash grants to community-based nonprofit organisations that are led by and serve communities of colour in the United States."

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