ASEAN Youth to Gain AI Skills with Microsoft's 2.5M Upskilling Plan

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ASEAN Youth to Gain AI Skills with Microsoft's 2.5M Upskilling Plan

Jakarta, 30 April 2024 – Microsoft announced today a commitment to equip 2.5 million people in member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with AI skills by 2025. The skilling initiatives will be implemented in partnership with governments, nonprofit and corporate organizations, and communities across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The commitment aligns with the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 to build an AI-ready talent pool in the region. It is part of Microsoft's goal to empower individuals, organizations, and communities in ASEAN countries to harness AI's potential for innovation and economic growth.

"We appreciate Microsoft's commitment to upskilling ASEAN youth in AI, a pivotal step aligning with the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025," said Dr Piti Srisangnam, Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation.

The initiatives will focus on four areas: building an inclusive, AI-ready workforce; bridging the cybersecurity talent gap; enhancing developers' AI skills; and empowering nonprofits to maximize social impact.

To build an AI-ready workforce, Microsoft will strengthen vocational education systems across ASEAN. It will benefit an estimated 644,000 vocational students through partnerships with the ASEAN Foundation and education ministries. Programs like AI TEACH will provide technical and vocational training students with AI skills.

In the Philippines, Microsoft is committed to equipping 1 million Department of Education learners from kindergarten to grade 12 with AI and cybersecurity skills, ensuring their readiness for future careers and employment opportunities. Furthermore, Microsoft will strengthen its collaboration with the nation's Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) by investing in a new initiative to equip 100,000 TESDA female learners with AI and cybersecurity skills. This will help foster a diverse talent pipeline for the country's digital transformation.

Microsoft is also launching initiatives to skill underserved youth, job seekers, entrepreneurs, and learners from kindergarten to grade 12 in AI, data, and security across ASEAN nations.

To bridge the cybersecurity talent gap, Microsoft's Cybersecurity Skilling Initiative will create alternative pathways for underrepresented youth into the cybersecurity industry. The Ready4AI&Security program will train 15,000 young individuals in Indonesia and Malaysia.

For developers, Microsoft's Asia AI Odyssey campaign aims to train 30,000 developers in ASEAN countries to enhance their AI skills and promote AI services in the digital economy.

Microsoft will also empower nonprofits by hosting a Nonprofit Leaders' Summit and providing access to resource hubs to help maximize their social impact with AI and digital technologies.

"Investing in AI skills is investing in a future where economic growth is inclusive," said Andrea Della Mattea, President of ASEAN at Microsoft.

About Microsoft 

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) creates platforms and tools powered by AI to deliver innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers. The technology company is committed to making AI available broadly and doing so responsibly, with a mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. 


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