Coursera, an education technology service, is pulling down the paywall for unemployed employees to provide free access to education for people who have lost their employment around the world, as well as the opportunity to earn qualifications.
Coursera's online learning platform will make 3,800 of its courses accessible to unemployed people for free because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gizmodo announced. The Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative for government workers is part of the Coursera for Government training plan.
The program would provide equal access to education for unemployed people, focusing on learning skills to help them fill high-demand positions. And instead of having to pay to earn a professional certificate that will support a resume, any unemployed person will receive professional qualifications, such as the Google IT Support Professional Support Certificate, leading to tech jobs on demand. Such employees are free to take unlimited courses — which normally cost $399 a year.
According to a blog post from Coursera, the initiative's goal is to help staff learn skills to re-employ themselves. You can't apply for the free courses as an individual; government agencies serving unemployed workers need to apply for entry.
“Coursera for Government is designed for government agencies to provide reskilling and upskilling programs for entire communities,” the Coursera website says.
Over the past five weeks, in the midst of stay-at-home orders, some 26 million people in the US have applied for unemployment.
The courses include company-specific training programs from Coursera partners such as Google and IBM, as well as courses in the fields of cloud computing, new technology, machine learning, big data, and other relevant business training.
“Coursera, along with its community of partners, is ready to serve the millions of workers who have lost their jobs and are going to have a hard time returning in a slow economy,” Coursera CEO Jeff Maggioncalda told Forbes.
State departments will be the first in the US to make the courses accessible in Arizona, Illinois and Oklahoma. According to the organization also engage the governments of Colombia, Costa Rica, Greece, Malaysia, Panama, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. In the coming weeks Coursera plans to add more government departments to the platform.