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NEW DELHI : The union labour and employment ministry and Microsoft India Thursday launched an employability initiative that will offer free of cost training in digital and technical skills including advance computing to more than 300,000 youth in the first year and almost 10 million over a period of time in the semi urban areas.  

Through the initiative named “DigiSaksham", jobseekers can access the training through National Career Service platform and the move shall offer priority to candidates from semi-urban and disadvantaged communities. 

 “The job market today is highly competitive and employers are looking for employability skills along with subject matter expertise," labour minister Bhupendta Yadavs said. 

“Through this initiative, nearly 10 million active jobseekers registered on National Career Service portal will be able to access training in areas like Java Script, Data Visualisation, Advance Excel, Power Bi, HTML, Programming languages, software development fundamentals, Introduction to coding , etc, equipping them with the skills required in a digital economy," the labour ministry said in a statement. 

Speaking about the partnership, Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India, said ensuring equitable access and opportunity to digital technology and skills will be vital. “Our collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Employment reflects our commitment to bridge the digital equity gap and empower the youth of India to succeed in a digital economy. We have a unique opportunity to become an increasingly important tech engine of the world. Providing equal opportunity and access to digital skills for all will be the key to long-term economic and social value creation for India," Maheswari said. 

Under the DigiSaksham initiative, there will be basically three types of training viz. Digital Skills – Self paced learning, VILT mode training (Virtual Instructor led) and ILT mode training (Instructor led).  The ILT training which is in person training would be conducted at the Model Career Centres (MCCs) and National Career Service Centres (NCSC) for SCs/STs across the country, the union labour ministry explained. 

Microsoft India has roped in Aga Khan Rural Support Programme-India and its knowledge partner TMI e2E Academy for rolling out this digital initiative, the ministry said. 

The ministry said it is supporting states for setting-up model career centres and has already approved 207 MCCs and more are in the pipeline. 

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