LONDON, (CMC) – The London-based Commonwealth Secretariat announced on Friday that it had entered into a partnership with global digital skills provider, Simplilearn, providing more than 2,000 free e-learning courses to young learners in the Caribbean.
It said that in total, the partnership will result in 10,000-course places, which will give students access to crucial digital economy skills. The partnership is estimated at US $5 million - to be made available to young people in Commonwealth countries throughout 2023.
“It is a huge pleasure to announce the first lot of course places for the Caribbean – a region with a thriving and talented young population,” said the Dominican-born Commonwealth secretary general, adding that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the associated economic fallout had hastened the rise of the digital economy.
“This is creating new economic pathways, livelihoods and job opportunities which support inclusive and sustainable development across the world. But there is a risk that a lack of digital readiness and skills caused by the digital divide could leave the Commonwealth’s young people behind.
“This partnership and commitment to providing 10,000 e-learning scholarships worth five million dollars will make a huge difference to young people’s job prospects, giving them the skills and confidence needed to thrive in an increasingly digital-focused job market,” she added.
The online training, developed in conjunction with leading industry experts from IBM Technology Corporation, Microsoft, Meta and others, includes courses in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, cybersecurity and software development. Each learner will receive a certificate upon completing the course.
Founder and chief executive officer of Simplilearn, Krishna Kumar, said with the digital and technological landscape shifts world over, the need for professionals to become equipped with the latest digital economy skills continues to increase.
“As the world’s largest digital economy skills training provider, it has been our endeavour to bring quality upskilling to all and bridge the talent gap globally,” he added.
As a result of the new initiative, at least 200 Simplilearn course slots will each be given to learners in Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Kitts-Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago for a total of 2,200 across the Caribbean.