Telangana Partners with Coursera to Upskill 50,000 Unemployed Youth During COVID-19

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3,800 job-relevant courses across cloud computing, data science, blockchain, computer science, and AI to be offered through the TASK.

Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK), a non-profit organization created by the Government of Telangana to bring synergy among government institutions, industry, and academia, has partnered with Coursera, the world’s leading online learning platform, to train 50,000 unemployed youth during the COVID-19 crisis. The partnership is part of Coursera’s global roll-out of the Workforce Recovery Initiative, where any state and country can provide unemployed workers with free access to online learning.

The pandemic has affected the livelihoods of 2.7 billion workers globally, with millions at risk in India. The government of Telangana, through TASK, has been proactive in improving the employability of its youth by investing in skills of the future. On the eve of World Youth Skills Day, through this partnership, TASK is making 3,800 courses on Coursera available to 50,000 unemployed youths across the state. The program aims to develop high-demand skills like data science, cloud computing, blockchain, AI, computer science, and the Internet of Things. It will also include access to highly sought after professional certificates like the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, designed to train people with no tech background for IT jobs.

Commenting on the partnership, Shrikant Sinha, CEO, TASK, said in a statement,

“Empowered by the vision of the Honorable Minister Shri K.T. Rama Rao Garu, the State of Telangana has been taking bold steps and policy actions to create a large pool of skilled workforce that companies around the world find attractive to employ. The present pandemic induced slowdown should be seen as an opportunity and used effectively by students, graduates seeking jobs as well as professionals who are between jobs, to skill themselves in areas that are less likely to be impacted by a crisis of this nature. We are excited to work with the world’s leading online learning platform to train our youth in the latest digital skills, taught by instructors from the best universities and companies around the world."

Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO, Coursera, also said in a statement,

“Youth unemployment is a major challenge around the world, and the pandemic made it worse. We are honored to work with the State of Telangana, known for its inspiring vision, innovative policies, and commitment to creating a workforce of the future, as our first government partner in India.”

Following Telangana Government's TASK partnership with Coursera, Odisha Skills Development Authority (OSDA) has also on World Youth Skills Day partnered with the online learning platform to train 50,000 unemployed youth of the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Government of Odisha has conceptualized the OSDA in 2016 with the objective to provide direction for the various skill development initiatives of the government.

Commenting on the partnership, Rashmita Panda, IAS, Director of Employment cum CEO, OSDA, Government of Odisha, said,

"These are challenging times for the economy and the job market. The crisis has impacted many workers across the state, especially youth. As part of the state's commitment towards building a workforce of the future, we are excited to collaborate with Coursera to provide our citizens with access to the world's best learning content, giving them the opportunity to develop the latest digital skills."

The workforce initiative is part of the Coursera for Government offering launched in 2017 to equip government employees and citizens with in-demand skills. With this launch, the State of Telangana joins many US states and countries around the world that are using Coursera to offer job-relevant online learning to unemployed workers. 

Learners can enroll in the courses offered through the initiative by September 30, 2020, and will have access until the end of the year to complete the courses.

About Coursera

Coursera was founded by two Stanford professors, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, with a vision of providing life-transforming learning experiences to anyone, anywhere. It is now a leading online learning platform for higher education, where 65 million learners from around the world come to learn skills of the future. More than 200 of the world’s top universities and industry educators partner with Coursera to offer courses, Specialisations, certificates, and degree programs. To date, Coursera has partnered with over 2,300 companies, including more than 100 Fortune 500 organizations on their skills development goals. Coursera is backed by leading investors that include Kleiner Perkins, New Enterprise Associates, Learn Capital, and SEEK Group.

About TASK:

Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) is a not-for-profit organization established by the government of Telangana in 2014, that works with the primary objective of skilling youth and making them more employable and hence, curb the unemployment rate in the state. The organization caters to students from diverse academic courses and socio-cultural backgrounds work on its objective through a three-pronged approach: (1) Skilling the youth in technologies that are in demand by the industry, (2) Building essential 21st-century workplace (transferrable) skills to make youth more adaptable and employable, and (3) Developing an entrepreneurial mindset in youth to groom them into employment providers.

About OSDA:

In order to change the skill landscape, Government of Odisha conceptualized the Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) in May 2016 though it was formally incorporated as a Society in December of the same year. The objective was to provide direction for the various skill development initiatives of the Government. The idea was to put in place an umbrella organization which would take charge of setting the vision and harmonise the efforts of many different agencies in the government and outside that are engaged in skill development.

About the Author
Author: Stephen Soulunii
Stephen Soulunii No more a student, but love to learn. Not a teacher, but care about how students are taught. Not an educator, but want everyone to be educated. Not a social worker, but desire to see change. Not a reformer, but always want to see a better world. The author believes that only sound education can bring a better future, better world and technology can help achieve a lot in this field.

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