Microsoft, UNICEF, Accenture and Dubai Cares have together launched a global digital learning platform for the youth of the world.
The Passport to Earning platform will operate under the Generation Unlimited partnership. It will aim to address the global education crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, besides preparing the next generation for decent work.
Young people aged 15 to 24 years across the world will be able to access free, certified education and skills training through the platform. It will impart knowledge about content spanning across digital, foundational, role-based, and technical skills.
Certifications obtained from the platform can support future employment and entrepreneurship opportunities made available on the platform.
The launch was announced at the RewirEd Summit, the largest global education summit of its kind, in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai and in close coordination with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and in partnership with global stakeholders.
Tariq Al Gurg, chief executive officer and vice-chairman of Dubai Cares, said the youth of today represent the leaders of tomorrow. “Preparing and equipping them for the challenges that lie ahead is critical to ensuring that our future is in capable hands. Passport to Earning will provide young individuals with an effective tool to strengthen and upscale their skill sets and empower their professional journeys towards greater goals,” he said.
The platform is built on Microsoft’s Community Training (MCT) platform and is to form an extension of UNICEF and Microsoft’s Learning Passport.
Learning Passport is a digital learning platform that aims to provide mainstream education to schoolchildren. It is currently operational in 20 countries.
Kate Behncken, vice-president and lead of Microsoft Philanthropies, said technology can be used in transformative ways to reach and connect learners—even in the most challenging situations.
“Passport to Earning is a powerful tool that allows us to reach young people and provide them with digital skills at scale,” she said.
The platform will offer online and offline digitised courses along with supplemental content to keep the youth learning both inside and outside of classrooms. It will provide them with content that is not dependent on a consistent web connection.
The platform will also strengthen the capacity of the government to provide sustainable skills and employment opportunities in the present digital economy.
Omar Abdi, UNICEF deputy executive director, said young people across the world are poised to advance their societies and economies. “Without access to relevant, quality education and training opportunities, they are unable to truly participate in the 21st century workforce. The Passport to Earning, which builds upon proven solutions in delivering education in the most challenging of environments, will provide young people with the skills and certification they need to create a better, more sustainable world,” he said.
Jill Huntley, managing director for corporate citizenship at Accenture, said the need for digital skills has never been greater, especially in regions hardest hit by global inequalities and the impacts of COVID. Working with our global partners, Accenture’s skills to succeed initiative has equipped over 4.5 million people with the skills to make substantive improvements to their lives.