Monday, September 28, 2020

Post-COVID-19 Economy Will Be Hybrid, Microsoft Says

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By Prince Osuagwu, High Tech Editor

Global software giant Microsoft says the post-COVID-19 economy will be hybrid, considering it will come with different needs and certainly new challenges in terms of skills. The company said that while COVID-19 fuels digital transformation, it also means that all industries must upgrade and retrain,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on organizations and industries around the world, affecting the jobs of up to 80 million people. Microsoft says that as economies slowly begin to reopen, jobs that were affected and lost at the beginning of global lockdowns may not now exist.

Speaking at a forum the company hosted to discuss how the rampant digital transformation accelerated by COVID-19 has impacted demand for skills, Microsoft Nigeria National Manager Akin Banuso said:

“As the economy in Nigeria slowly begins to reopen for business, we anticipate a return to an economy with different needs and certainly one that presents a new challenge in terms of skills.

“According to our research, by 2025 digital employment capacity will mean the creation of 149 million new jobs. In addition to this, 800 million people will be required to learn new skills to fully execute their jobs by 2030, “he added.

He however promised that Microsoft is committed to enabling the continent to achieve more through digital transformation and is committed to helping local economies during the pandemic.

In addition to committing to helping 25 million job seekers around the world acquire the skills they need to survive in the new digital economy, Microsoft promises to provide a continental response to youth employment and skills promotion.

Recently, it brought together opinion leaders and decision makers from the private sector, IGOs, government agencies and academics, to discuss how Nigeria and indeed Africa will seize the opportunities of the new normal rather than sink under the devastation of COVID-19. .

Speaking on why it was necessary for the software giant to do so, MEA Emerging Markets Director of Corporate, External and Legal Affairs John Edokpolo said: “One of our key goals today was to gain a better understanding of the models and approaches available. and best employment practices as we approach the recovery phase of this crisis.

“The Global Skills Initiative is set up to use data to identify in-demand jobs and provide free access to learning content by investing in free access to on-demand skills training, discounted tests providing industry-recognized certifications, and free connections. to employability tools. In doing so, bring together all parts of the holistic brand spanning Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub to integrate these offerings to meet the needs of job seekers and the economy. “

While the roundtable also sought to strengthen collaboration between partners for employment-oriented skills development and seek to build consensus and more engagement for key stakeholders on the way forward, it also sought to facilitate a valuable dialogue, creating synergies and the expansion of the public-private sector. partnerships to improve youth employability outcomes and future jobs.

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