Tech giant Microsoft has announced its collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to help over one lakh underserved Indian women for a period of 10 months. This initiative is an extension of Microsoft’s partnership with NSDC to provide digital skills for more than one lakh youth in the country. 

Commenting on the partnership with NSDC, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India says, “COVID-19 has accelerated India’s digital transformation and a workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills will be the key to unlocking the country’s next phase of growth. Providing equal opportunity and access to digital skills for underserved young women will be an important part of this journey, ensuring an inclusive economic recovery. Our partnership with NSDC is aimed at bridging the gender gap in access to digital skills, enabling everyone to succeed in a digital economy.”

The partnership is expected to augment women’s workforce participation. This measure is carried out by equipping underserved young women from rural communities with the skills that are quite essential to flourish 

In this digital economy. The collaborative program would bring in over 70 hours of course content that is claimed to be available for free. Also, the program would cover topics such as enhancing employability, digital literacy, nano entrepreneurship as well as communication skills. 

Furthermore, the program also assures to provide a series of live training sessions and digital skilling drives to aid to create opportunities for young and mature women. Also, this program would be a focus on the fresher and those job seeking affected due to the pandemic to join the future workforce. These live sessions would be online on the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) platform. This MCT platform would enable the trainees to access rich contents that are already existing on MCT and also provide a forum to engage with peers. 

Dr. Manish Kumar, MD and CEO, NSDC says, “NSDC is nurturing a conducive ecosystem in which women across formal and informal sectors get access to appropriate skill development opportunities. Mainstreaming of content, delivery of training, and use of digital platforms are key to increasing participation of women. Our partnership with Microsoft will help in the economic empowerment of women.”

Through this collaboration, eSkill India, NSDC’s digital skilling initiative, would assist in strengthening the outreach of this engagement through its skilling ecosystem that includes sector skill councils, training partners, and training centers. Also, NSDC and Microsoft would offer a joint e-certificate to candidates participating in the program after their course completion. Furthermore, about 20,000 young women form regions with minimal female labor force participation would be selected by NSDC and trained through dedicated skills for employability training suitable for IT roles.