Microsoft invests $3 million in YouthSpark in Viet Nam

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 17:08

Vu Minh Tri, general director of Microsoft Vietnam makes a speech at the announcement ceremony of the enterprise's YouthSpark programme on March 24 in Ha Noi. The programme aims to empower Vietnamese youngsters by providing them with opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship. — Photos courtesy of Microsoft
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — United States-based Microsoft Inc. announced on March 24 that it will invest US$3 million in Viet Nam over the next three years as part of its global YouthSpark programme.

Microsoft organises conference on cloud computing

On the same day, Microsoft also organised a conference on cloud computing solutions for businesses, which was attended by IT and business leaders in Ha Noi. The enterprise reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing its presence in Viet Nam and contributing to building the best IT infrastructure for Viet Nam.

Microsoft had recently signed a series of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Ministry of Information and Communications, Ministry of Finance and other government agencies to implement common objectives, including IT infrastructure modernization, privacy and Internet security enhancement, cloud computing application development, and IT skills development for Viet Nam.

Joe Wilson, General Manager for WorldWide Field Evangelism at Microsoft, addressed the importance of a cloud-optimised IT infrastructure in Viet Nam. "The foundation for a connected society and economy starts with a modern IT infrastructure that is cloud-optimized, scalable and highly secure. Microsoft is excited and honoured to be playing an integral part in helping Viet Nam build a world-class cloud-based IT economy," he said.

During the conference, Microsoft also reiterated its commitment to helping local developers and IT companies create solutions and applications for a digital world; as well as help train more IT-skilled professionals in Viet Nam. As Microsoft said, the current Viet Nam was a shining example of the company's efforts to build a strong developer ecosystem in the Asia Pacific. The country has more than 4,000 active Windows Phone developers and is contributing more than 40 per cent of the developer activities in the region. The soon-to-be-released new Windows Operating System, Windows 10, will also bring an unprecedented opportunity for Vietnamese developers.

The programme is aimed at empowering the youth by providing them with opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship.

Microsoft's YouthSpark is a global initiative that aims to offer opportunities to 300 million youth in more than 100 countries by 2015. The programme aims to provide technology skills in training, along with connections for employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for Vietnamese youngsters. In Vietnam, it would focus on three areas: development of employees, broadening investment for youth across Vietnam and supporting young leaders in the country.

Its mobile phone manufacturing plant is based in the northern province of Bac Ninh in Viet Nam, and employs more than 13,000 workers. A partial amount of the investment will be used to organise information technology training courses for its employees that will help them develop new skills and gain new opportunities.

The corporation will also cooperate with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), non-profit organisation VietNet ICT and the Kenan Institute Asia to execute the programme in Viet Nam.

Speaking at the ceremony to announce the initiative, Cesar Cernuda, president of Microsoft Asia Pacific, said Viet Nam was an important emerging market for Microsoft in Southeast Asia and had great growth potential.

"With its large, young, highly-mobile and socially-engaged population, we believe that the country is poised to fully leverage the power of technology to grow and compete on a global stage. We are making this commitment to empower Viet Nam's digital generation to transform the future and further develop its economy under our YouthSpark program," he said.

Vu Minh Tri, general director of Microsoft Vietnam, said: "The latest investment is in line with the government's efforts to develop the country's human capital to raise its regional and global competitiveness. This is also another step toward transforming Viet Nam's into an advanced IT nation in 2020 as part of its 10-year ICT development plan, where youths will play a critical role. We look forward to partnering non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations to empower them with the necessary ICT skills to help make this a reality." 

Microsoft awards certificates for the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and non-profit organisation VietNet ICT for their support in the enterprise's activities in Viet Nam. — VNS Photo

Attending the ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong expressed his gratitude for Microsoft to support the government's efforts to strengthen and develop a solid IT infrastructure and for bringing the YouthSpark programme to Viet Nam.

"YouthSpark will be invaluable in helping Vietnamese youth learn more about technology and will be equipped with the right skills to firmly set them on a future career path," he said.

During the programme, Microsoft would collaborate with Vietnet ICT to hold mobile training classes in the Bac Ninh Province to equip 1,200 adolescents with basic IT skills. Besides, the two sides would also train about 16,500 disadvantaged youth in the Bac Ninh Province, Ha Noi and HCM City during the next three years.

The enterprise also plans to offer a series of technology courses and resources for thousands of youth over the next three years in an effort to help them become future innovators that would facilitate the transformation of Viet Nam. These will include digital literacy skills, coding and computer science classes, as well as internships and scholarships.

To promote Computer Science, Microsoft will localise its Virtual Academy's Learn to Code videos into Vietnamese and introduce a Coding road show at universities in Bac Ninh, Ha Noi and HCM City. Graduate Internships at Microsoft's factory will also be offered to university students and the enterprise also intends to extend its three-year commitment to small and medium-sized enterprises, wherein it would provide training for 5,000 young start-ups in partnership with VCCI.

Vietnamese youths are also encouraged to access the online portal YouthSpark Hub to access free resources and activities provided by Microsoft in Viet Nam.

The American firm has also invited Nguyen Nhu Quynh, founder of volunteer group Pioneer Fish, to join the Microsoft Global YouthSpark Advisor Council. She will not only represent the younger generation of Viet Nam, but also of the entire Asia Pacific. — VNS

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