Microsoft president warns of “staggering jobs challenge”

The world is facing a staggering jobs challenge with a quarter of a billion people set to lose their job this year, the president of Microsoft has said.

 

Brad Smith says millions will need to learn new skills to get jobs, or even to hang on to their old one, as the digitisation of economies races ahead.

 

Microsoft recently announced a plan to deliver skills and training to 25 million people globally this year.

 

It will offer training, skills, certifications and help finding jobs.

 

The firm will do this with the help of Microsoft-owned LinkedIn. However, Mr Smith admitted that many jobs in many countries would be beyond the reach of digital retraining.

 

“It’s true that the nature of work varies widely around the world. Not all jobs can be digitised, particularly in the developing world. We live in a world of internet inequality – if we don’t do something about it we are going to exacerbate all the other inequalities that we all worry about. This is a task beyond any one company or any one government but if we can reach 25 million people we will feel like we are doing our part.”

 

Microsoft will spend $20m on the programme.

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