Laptop with a post it saying online courses for people to retrain or upskill for free online

The effects of Covid-19 on the economy – both in South Africa and worldwide – have been devastating. Unemployment rates have been steadily rising over the past few months, so if Covid-19 and the recent lockdown has resulted in you becoming unemployed or left you searching for a new career path, you can now upskill and retrain for free through Microsoft’s Global Skills Initiative.

Upskill for free using online resources – how does it work?

The Initiative provides free access to content in LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and the GitHub Learning Lab, and couples those with Microsoft Certifications and LinkedIn job-seeking tools to make it easier for you to find in-demand jobs.

“COVID-19 has created both a public health and an economic crisis and, as the world recovers, we need to ensure no one is left behind,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “Today, we’re bringing together resources from Microsoft, inclusive of LinkedIn and GitHub, to reimagine how people learn and apply new skills — and help 25 million people facing unemployment due to COVID-19 prepare for the jobs of the future.”

“The biggest brunt of the current downturn is being borne by those who can afford it the least,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “Unemployment rates are spiking for people of colour and women, as well as younger workers, people with disabilities and individuals with less formal education. Our goal is to combine the best in technology with stronger partnerships with governments and non-profits to help people develop the skills needed to secure a new job.”

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Want to upskill or retrain for free?

While these resources are available online to South Africans, vulnerable job seekers from poorer – or outlying – areas will need additional support, which is why Microsoft has partnered with non-profits like Afrika Tikkun to help the people who need it most access the resources. All resources can be accessed at opportunity.linkedin.com, and will be available in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish.

Need more information? 

Digital parenting thought leader and BabyYumYum expert contributor, Rianette Leibowitz speaks to Microsoft’s Siya Madyibi, Executive Director of Corporate External and Legal Affairs to find out more about the Microsoft Global Skills Initiative.