Accenture, Dubai Cares, Microsoft and UNICEF launch digital education platform under Generation Unlimited to help address global learning crisis
‘Passport to Earning’—part of the Generation Unlimited partnership—will provide free, quality, digital education for young people to help prepare them for the world of work
DUBAI, 12 December 2021 – Accenture, Dubai Cares, Microsoft and UNICEF announced today the launch of a global, digital learning platform for young people. Operating under the Generation Unlimited partnership, the Passport to Earning platform aims to address the global education crisis – currently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic – and prepare the next generation for decent work.
The platform will provide young people aged 15-24 across the world with free, certified education and skills training—with content spanning across digital, foundational, role-based, and technical skills. Young people using the platform will be able to use the certifications gained to support future employment and entrepreneurship opportunities made available on the platform. The Passport to Earning platform was unveiled today at the RewirEd Summit, the largest global education summit of its kind, led by Dubai Cares, in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai and in close coordination with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC), and delivered in partnership with global stakeholders.
“The youth of today represent the leaders of tomorrow. Preparing and equipping them for the challenges that lie ahead of us is critical to ensuring that our future is in capable hands. Passport to Earning will provide young individuals with an effective tool to strengthen and upscale their skillsets and empower their professional journeys towards greater goals. In addition, the RewirEd Summit proved to be a fitting gathering to launch this platform in line with the conversations we hosted around the summit’s first day theme: Youth, Skills and the Future of Work,” said His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares.
Passport to Earning is built on Microsoft’s Community Training (MCT) platform and will form an extension of UNICEF and Microsoft’s Learning Passport, a digital learning platform aimed at school-age children struggling to access mainstream education. Operational in 20 countries, the Learning Passport was recently identified by Time Magazine as one of the 100 best inventions of 2021.
“We’ve seen first-hand how technology can be used in transformative ways to reach and connect learners—even in the most challenging scenarios. Passport to Earning is a powerful tool that allows us to reach young people and provide them with digital skilling opportunities at scale. We’re thrilled to work with UNICEF, GenU, Accenture and Dubai Cares to bring this program to life,” said Kate Behncken, Vice President and Lead of Microsoft Philanthropies.
The platform will offer online and offline digitalized curricula with supplemental content curated at the national level. It will keep young people learning—both inside and outside of classrooms—with content that is not dependent on a consistent web connection. It will also build government capacity to provide sustainable skilling and employment opportunities in the digital economy.
"Young people across the world are poised to advance their societies and economies. Yet, without access to relevant, quality education and training opportunities, they are unable to truly participate in the 21st century workforce. The Passport to Earning, which builds upon proven solutions in delivering education in the most challenging of environments, will provide young people with the skills and certification they need to create a better, more sustainable world,” said Omar Abdi, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director.
According to a recent World Bank-UNESCO-UNICEF report, the current generation of students risks losing $17 trillion in lifetime earnings—around 14 per cent of today’s global GDP—as a result of COVID-19 pandemic-related school closures. However, even before the pandemic, young people were not learning the skills necessary for future work. Pre-pandemic data showed that without immediate action, by 2030 an estimated 825 million children will not acquire the basic secondary-level skills—such as transferable, digital and job-specific skills—needed to support lifelong learning and employment.
“The fourth industrial revolution is bringing with it irreversible changes for the education sector and the labor market—and we must not fail to do our part in enabling young people to prepare for what’s ahead. Passport to Earning exemplifies what partnerships between the public and private sectors, the UN and young people can achieve. It’s a new, modern, and inclusive global skilling solution that will connect millions of underserved youth worldwide with state-of-the-art curriculum, certifications, and ultimately jobs,” said Kevin Frey, Chief Executive Officer of GenU.
Rapidly advancing digital solutions have the potential to reach all young people and help them to access world-class learning. Accenture will bring expertise in digital learning and a user-centric design approach to Passport to Earning.
“The need for digital skills has never been greater, especially in those regions hardest hit by global inequalities and the impacts of COVID. We are proud to partner with UNICEF, Microsoft and Dubai Cares on Passport to Earning to support many thousands of young people get a job or start a business. Working with our global partners, Accenture’s Skills to Succeed initiative has equipped over 4.5 million people with the skills to make substantive improvements to their lives,” said Jill Huntley, Managing Director for Corporate Citizenship at Accenture.
Notes to editors:
UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service. On 10 November 2021, the Learning Passport, the precursor to Passport to Earning was listed among Time Magazine’s 100 Best Inventions of 2021.
About Generation Unlimited
Launched by the UN Secretary-General at the 2018 UN General Assembly, Generation Unlimited is a leading global Public-Private-Youth Partnership on a mission to skill and connect the world’s 1.8 billion young people to opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship and social impact. Anchored in UNICEF, the partnership brings together global organizations and leaders including Heads of State, CEOs, Heads of UN agencies, and civil society champions with young people to co-create and deliver innovative solutions on a global scale.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Accenture delivers on the promise of technology and human ingenuity. It embraces the power of change to create 360° value for our clients, people and communities.
About Dubai Cares
Since its inception in 2007, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and youth in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programs that aim to be impactful, sustainable and scalable. To date, the UAE-based global philanthropic organization has successfully launched education programs reaching over 20 million beneficiaries in 60 developing countries.
Dubai Cares plays a key role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises. Moreover, Dubai Cares adopts a strategic approach to improve student enrollment and learning outcomes through an integrated school health and nutrition model that is made up of school-based deworming activities, school feeding, and WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) in schools.
Dubai Cares is a member of the United Nations Department of Global Communications (UN DGC), as well as a registered non-government organization under IACAD, the charitable activities regulator in Dubai. The UAE-based global philanthropic organization is authorized to raise funds through direct donations and fundraising campaigns, as well as process all permit approvals with IACAD.
Volunteerism is a powerful tool to Dubai Cares in order to engage people in tackling development challenges. Dubai Cares rallies the UAE wider community through a large spectrum of volunteering and awareness initiatives that are linked to its global mandate.
To learn more, please visit www.dubaicares.ae