LinkedIn and Microsoft expand digital skills training resources

Global Skills Initiative provides skills for roles such as data analysis

More than 30 million people in 249 countries have so far used the programme to gain access to learning resources. Image: iStock

LinkedIn and Microsoft are to expand their digital skills training resources to help fill skills gaps and provide easier access to learning for those affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The Global Skills Initiative, which was unveiled in June last year, aims to provide people with the appropriate digital skills for roles in customer service, project management and data analysis.

More than 30 million people in 249 countries have used the programme to gain access to learning resources.

These resources, which include free LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learn courses and low-cost certifications, have been extended through to the end of 2021.


The companies have partnered with Fastrack to IT to support the rollout of training resources in the Republic.

"We're delighted to announce today the extended availability of the Global Skills Initiative's digital skills training resources at a time when the digitisation of all sectors and industries is accelerating," said Cathriona Hallahan, managing director of Microsoft Ireland. "The past year has proven just how impactful technology and digital capabilities can be, but it's also highlighted areas where gaps are emerging. The digital transformation witnessed over the past year now has to be maintained and to do that we need to ensure our workforces have the digital skills to keep pace."

New jobs

New data from LinkedIn shows nearly a third of all new jobs started in Ireland last year saw people move into different industries or areas where they may not have had much previous experience.

The professional networking platform is implementing a number of new tools to connect candidates and employers, including the new Skills Path pilot, which helps recruiters find candidates based on their proven skills, new LinkedIn profile features and expanded access to LinkedIn’s Skills Graph.

“Covid-19 has forced some people to seek job opportunities in a different sector, and our data shows that those professionals are developing new technical and interpersonal skills to switch careers,” said Sharon McCooey, head of LinkedIn in Ireland.

“By taking a skills-based approach to hiring, employers can access a broader talent pool by prioritising capabilities and potential over their experience to date. That’s why we are continuing our commitment to help professionals everywhere learn new skills through our partnership with Microsoft, offering free access to online learning courses through LinkedIn Learning and developing new products to help people match their skills with opportunities.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist