Microsoft Corporation India Pvt Ltd, in conjunction with NGO partner Aide et Action, today announced its second YouthSpark center in India. The opening of the new center in Thiruvananthapuram follows the launch of the inaugurative center in New Delhi in November 2012, both part of the global company initiative to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries over the next three years.
The Thiruvananthapuram center is the second of 10 centers planned for India to work with under served youth aged 16 to 24, offering training on basic IT skills, Spoken English, personality development and job preparedness. Each center will focus on one trade led enterprise such as IT-enabled services, retail, hospitality, automobiles etc. From each batch of students, a select few will be trained in a simulated set-up, and encouraged to start their own group enterprises. The Thiruvananthapuram center will focus on Information Technology enabled services (ITeS), automobile, hospitality and retail.
Speaking at the launch event at the centre in Vanchiyoor, Thiruvananthapuram, Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director – Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft Corporation, said, “Bridging the opportunity divide amongst youth is the focus of Microsoft globally and in a country like India, with a substantial young under served population, it is imperative that skill-building be a focus of our efforts. Microsoft YouthSpark builds on the company’s existing philanthropy programs that empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.”
Microsoft India has been working with NGOs Smile Foundation and Aide et Action in Kerala since 2007. The Aide et Action iLEAD center in Thiruvananthapuram started in 2007 to impart employability trainings for dropout youth from marginalized communities living in rural and urban areas. The center has trained 1744 youth (with a 49:51men to women ratio), of which more than 1600 have been found placements. Aishwarya Mahajan, Head South East Asia, Livelihood Program, Aide et Action said, “The launch of the YouthSpark center marks a significant milestone in our efforts to make young people in the state more employable as well as confident. ”
At the first YouthSpark center launch in Delhi, Microsoft India announced cash grants worth 350,000 USD for Indian NGOs Aide et Action & Aga Khan rural Support Program for the year 2012-13. The YouthSpark centers launched across the country will aim to reduce the existing opportunity divide faced by the youth