Around the world, 2020 has emerged as one of the most challenging years in many of our lifetimes.
The world has endured multiple challenges, including a pandemic that has spurred a global economic crisis. But as the curve continues to flatten, Microsoft has seen the future.
As societies reopen, it’s apparent that the economy in August wasn’t the same as in January.
So, Microsoft believes that 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.
And in just 10 years from now, 800 million people will be required to learn these new skills to fully executive their jobs which are tilting mostly to digital skills.
It evens makes more sense now why Microsoft had to launch a new initiative meant to help 25 million people worldwide acquire digital skills needed in a Covid-19 economy.
Microsoft, in an effort to not only reaffirm its commitment to enabling the continent to achieve more through digital transformation with technology as a key vector, but also to forge commitment to assisting local economies during the pandemic, hosted a roundtable in Lagos, Nigeria recently to discuss how the rampant digital transformation accelerated by COVID-19 has impacted skills demand.
The Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso, speaking at the roundtable event recently, noted that COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated the pace of digital transformation and as a result of this, digital skills are required immediately.
The COVID-19 pandemic, he said, has had unprecedented impact on organisations and industries the world over.
While digital transformation has presented a call to action to entire industries to upskill and reskill, the onset of COVID-19 is said to have impacted the jobs of up to 80 million people. As economies slowly start to reopen, jobs that were impacted and lost at the start of the global lockdowns, may now not exist.
In Banuso’s words: “According to our research, by 2025 digital job capacity will mean the creation of 149 million new jobs. Further to this, 800 million people will be required to learn new skills to fully execute their jobs by 2030. As the economy in Nigeria starts to slowly reopen for business, we anticipate the return to an economy with different needs and certainly one were a new challenge presents itself in terms of skills.”
Off the back of the recent Global Skilling Initiative announcement to aid 25 million job seekers worldwide to acquire the skills required to survive in the new digital economy – the roundtable, one of the first in a series developed to provide a continental answer to youth employment and skill promotion brought together thought leaders and decision makers from the private sector, IGOs, Government Agencies and Academia.
More information on the Global Skills Initiative can be accessed via this LINK.