Microsoft expands free digital skills training with public sector partnership

laptop microsoft digital skills training

Microsoft has expanded its local digital skills training, extending the initiative through a partnership with the Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority (PSETA).

Last year, Microsoft announced its Global Skilling Initiative. For the local part of its initiative, Microsoft South Africa partnered with Afrika Tikkun. The initiative has already helped almost 300 000 people in South Africa gain access to digital skills since June 2020.

Now, the initiative plans to train an additional 2 000 people per province through the partnership with PSETA.

Through this, the initiative hopes to make young people more employable in critical skills industries such as ICT.

“Research has found that the most critical future skills that businesses will continue to require in the next five years are all digital, with data analysts, data scientists, and machine learning specialists topping the list of the most in-demand roles,” says Lillian Barnard, Managing Director at Microsoft South Africa.

Meanwhile, Afrika Tikkun will continue to provide support access to training and job placement. The organisation’s website hosts a portal where young people can register for training.

On the site, they can undergo an assessment so that the best learning pathway can be identified for them.

Public sector support for Microsoft skills training

PSETA will also provide support to unemployed learners to access training programmes.

This includes technical support, since the training programmes are available for free online.

PSETA says it will leverage its partnerships with libraries, computer labs, and TVET colleges to provide the connectivity learners will need to complete the training.

“Finding ways and forging meaningful collaborations to empower South Africa’s youth with the skills they need to effectively navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a key priority for the South African government, and collaborating with private sector partners including corporates and civil society is critical to equip and prepare our youth for the workplaces of the future,” Bontle Lerumo, Chief Executive Officer at the PSETA, says.

The partnership also expands on Microsoft and Afrika Tikkun’s “cradle-to-career model”, which aims to not only train jobseekers, but help place them in work opportunities.

Microsoft has also extended free access to its on-demand LinkedIn learning paths to December 31, 2021. Originally, the offer was due to end on March 31, 2021.

To register for the digital skills initiative in South Africa, visit the Afrika Tikkun website.

Feature image: Christin Hume/Unsplash

Read more: Google launches digital hub with free courses, job seeking tools, and resources for businesses

Megan Ellis


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