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

New Delhi: Odisha Skills Development Authority has partnered with Coursera, the world’s leading online learning platform, to train 50,000 unemployed youth during the COVID-19 crisis. Launched on the World Youth Skills Day, 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.

As businesses across sectors lay off workers due to an abrupt economic slowdown, the world faces the biggest unemployment crisis in the modern era. The pandemic has affected the livelihoods of 2.7 billion workers globally, with millions at risk in India. The government of Odisha is widely recognized for its commitment to developing future skills and improving employability among its youth. The program aims to build in-demand skills like Data Science, Cloud computing and Internet of Things while also offering professional certificates like the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, designed to train people with no tech background for high-demand jobs.

“These are challenging times for the economy and the job market. The crisis has impacted many workers across the state, especially youth,” said Mrs Rashmita Panda IAS, Director of Employment cum CEO, OSDA, Government of Odisha, speaking of the partnership. “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.”

“Youth unemployment is a major challenge around the world and the pandemic made it worse,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO Coursera. “We are honored to partner with the government of Odisha in its efforts to transform the state into a global talent hub by providing broad-based skilling opportunities to its youth.”

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 Odisha 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.