Microsoft India has launched YouthSpark Code <A> Career program in two Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in Delhi. This program will be conducted in partnership with NASSCOM Foundation, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of Delhi’s Directorate of Training and Technical Education (DTTE). The program was announced at the Jija Bai Institute for Women at Siri Fort, New Delhi in the presence of the leadership from across all four organizations, including Sh. Manoj Kumar, IAS, Director DTTE Delhi and Clement Chauvet, Chief, Skill and Business Development – UNDP. Yvonne Thomas, Global Director, Microsoft Philanthropies, Shrikant Sinha, CEO NASSCOM Foundation,
The “CODE <A> CAREER” program is aimed at enhancing the employability of girls and young women studying under the Computer Operator and Programming Assistant (COPA) course in the Delhi Government run Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs).It will also leverage the existing strengths of the government ITI system to better deliver training and course implementation, focus on building capacities of their teaching faculty, enhance and establish industry connects for the ITIs as an integral component to reinforce learning and all-round development of students. The proposed project will empower young women with essential skills to help them become self-reliant and industry relevant skills aligned to specific job-roles. The program with a clear focus towards enhancing employability prospects for women, will also help connect them to relevant job opportunities.
Speaking on the occasion, Manju Dhasmana, Director, Microsoft Philanthropies, India, said, “At Microsoft, our goal is to ensure all young people – irrespective of gender- are empowered with the ITC skills today’s and tomorrow’s jobs demand. If today’s young women are going to thrive in the digital economy, they’ll need access to the benefits of technology. Currently, more than half of the students benefitting from YouthSpark grants are young women. The launch of Code <A> Career is yet another step inaiding young girls in developing future ready skills, in addition to helping build a gender diverse talent pool. We thank the Government of Delhi, UNDP and NASCCOM Foundation for their support.”
NASSCOM Foundation will be responsible for program management, monitoring and evaluation of the entire project.
Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, India said, “Today, the IT industry in India has approximately 34% of women employees. There is still a lot to be done to overcome this gender disparity. We are glad to partner with Microsoft, UNDP and the Delhi Government to help empower young girls and women at ITI to join the industry as skilled employees and help accelerate their career growth.”
UNDP will support the Code <A> Career project through overall screening and counseling of the candidates who are interested in pursuing a career in programming, through its Career Guidance Counseling Centres (CGCCs) in schools and educational institutions; and financial support required to assess/certify the students trained in this program.
According to Clement Chauvet, Chief- Skill and Business Development, UNDP, “Systematized interventions like career guidance and counselling at the critical threshold of education-to-work transition can help students make informed and inspired career choices that are aligned with trends in job markets”.
Directorate of Training and Technical Education, Govt. of Delhi will provide all the support to implement the initiative through its concerned departments and institutions such as providing necessary approvals, participation from government colleges and youth bodies, cooperation from various government functionaries; and provision of in-kind resources such as training spaces and other infrastructure required to implement the skilling initiatives, organizing state wide job fairs and seminars to promote employment of youth trained under the Project.
The YouthSpark Code <A> Career is a part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative. Since it was launched in 2012, Microsoft YouthSpark has created educational, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for more than 300 million youth around the world. YouthSpark seeks to deliver deep and impactful experiences by enabling young girls to collaborate, inspire and support each other, while using technology to spark change. Microsoft continues to work in partnership with governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses to ensure that all youth have the opportunity to learn computer science.