New Initiative of British Council to Enhance Employment Opportunities for 400,000 Young Indians
British Council and Microsoft Team Up to Enhance Employment Opportunities for 400,000 Young Indians - PC : MRP Graphics
British Council Skill Development: The British Council, the UK's international organization for educational opportunities and cultural exchange, and Microsoft India have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a co-developed three-year partnership programme called 'English Skills for Youth'. The programme aims to enhance the life opportunities of young people, aged 18-25, particularly women, in socio-economically marginalized communities across India.

Enhancing Employment Opportunities for Women

The 'English Skills for Youth' project aims to enhance employability opportunities for youth by imparting English language skills along with collaboration, critical thinking, soft skills, and leadership abilities. This holistic development plan is crucial for improving employment prospects and further education opportunities. With approximately one million people entering the workforce in India every month and a low employment rate for women, the program will prioritize 75% female learners to bridge the gender gap in the workplace.

Benefit to 4 Lakh Youth

The project will integrate the 'English Skills for Youth' solution into rural engineering colleges connected to Microsoft's existing NGO/partner skilling projects. The goal is to benefit 60,000 youth and 600 teachers during the three-year pilot phase and eventually reach 400,000 young people engaged in Microsoft Philanthropies-funded projects. The focus will be on developing English communication and soft skills, enabling students to confidently present themselves in job interviews and succeed in companies with a global customer base.

Key Aspects:

The project has been designed to cover three key aspects:

  1. Capacity building of English faculty and placement officers in state engineering colleges across India.
  2. Facilitating the development of English skills for students, particularly women, adopting a community of practice approach through student club meetings.
  3. Establishing an interface with industry through joint thought leadership forums organized by Microsoft and the British Council, focusing on multilingualism in the workplace.

Alison Barrett MBE, Director India, British Council, said, "Enabling young people, particularly women, with life and employment opportunities is at the core of all our work in culture, education, and English. We are very excited about the long-term positive impact that will be delivered at scale through the expansive network of Microsoft Philanthropies, preparing young women and students to take charge of their learning and livelihoods."

Navtez Bal, Executive Director, Public Sector, Microsoft India, said, "Bridging the skills gap is foundational to building towards inclusive economic and societal progress in today’s digital economy. Beyond imparting digital skills, it is critical to provide holistic training content, including soft skills, to the jobseekers of tomorrow."