UNESCO has launched the Global Skills Academy to provide youth with opportunities to gain digital skills and other competencies through free access to online skills development programs.
UNESCO hopes that the academy will equip young people across the world with employability and resilience skills and also help them find jobs during an anticipated recession caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The academy launched to commemorate the World Youth Skills Day on July 15 is a collaboration between UNESCO and various founding partners including Coursera, Dior, Festo, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, Orange Digital Centres and PIX.
“The crisis has highlighted the urgency of equipping youth with the right skills to accelerate the transition to more inclusive, sustainable and resilient economies. This requires massive investment in education and skills training and expanded partnerships with employers to narrow the gap between demand for skills and the workplace” - Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO.
Founding partners’ contributions include:
Coursera: Workforce Recovery Initiative, online learning to reskill unemployed workers to re-enter the workforce
Dior: Women@Dior programme, a leadership educational program around the four core values of autonomy, inclusion, creativity and sustainable development
Huawei:Tech4All programme, a digital skills training and MOOCS covering fields such as Artificial intelligence; big data and the Internet of Things
Festo: e-learning modules in water technology and wastewater management
IBM: free access to platforms providing training on emerging technologies and upskilling and reskilling for youth and adults
Microsoft: Free online courses and real-world tools to build skills in technologies that help students and jobseekers succeed in a post-Covid world
Orange: Orange Digital Centres for digital skills development and Orange Campus Services allowing access to free on line courses, both in Africa and Middle East
PIX: platform to evaluate, develop and certify digital skills