VMware Aurora will provide free training covering digital and sales skills to upskill and advance career opportunities for persons with disabilities.
SINGAPORE, April 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — VMware, Inc (NYSE:VMW), a leading innovator in enterprise software today launched VMware Aurora, a program that aims to empower persons with disabilities with the digital skills needed in today’s digital workforce. The program will provide free training with a diverse set of courses and learning materials in digital and sales skills ranging from computer security and internet safety to customer relationship management, to help persons with disabilities to upskill and increase their employability in today’s digital workforce.
VMware Aurora marks VMware’s regional commitment to support persons with disabilities. Outside of its global initiatives, Aurora is currently catered for Singapore, with plans to expand to other countries in Asia Pacific and Japan. Working closely with various industry partners in the ecosystem such as SG Enable, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, Tomowork, Up 2 Speed and LinkedIn, the programme aims to equip 1,000 persons with disabilities with both business and technical skills for the future economy. The self-paced courses are delivered online via a combination of VMware curated courses and LinkedIn courses, and will provide individuals with digital and sales skills of varying capability levels from one to five. Individuals will be awarded certifications that indicate course completion after successfully completing each level and undergoing its relevant assessments.
“Our vision of building a more equitable, sustainable and secure future for our region is rooted in creating equal opportunities for everyone. To create a truly inclusive economy, it is fundamental to equip persons with disabilities with the right skills so that they too are future-ready and remain employable in IT and broader industries,” said Craig Dobson, VMware’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead, Asia Pacific and Japan, and Vice President of Professional Services. “We believe that technology can level the playing field for persons with disabilities and enable them to reap benefits in a digital future. The digital economy offers many opportunities and benefits and with the right skills and knowledge, we hope to empower persons with disabilities to better their lives and drive them towards greater success with their unique skillsets.”
According to UNESCAP, there is an estimated 472 million working-age persons with disabilities in Asia Pacific and Japan. This highlights the importance for individuals to upskill themselves with digital skills so that they have an opportunity to participate in the technology industry and bridge the talent gap. The program will be made available to those with disabilities who are citizens or permanent residents residing in Singapore aged 17 and above who have completed a secondary level of formal education or who are graduating students of a local Polytechnic or Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and have a keen interest in learning or working in the tech industry.
The launch of VMware Aurora builds on VMware’s commitment to build disability inclusion into its agenda by creating a more inclusive workplace for those with disabilities and deepening its understanding of disability inclusion. Over the past two years, VMware kicked off multiple global inclusion initiatives which includes its first-ever Accessibility Week with a summit followed by an accessibility hackathon across five countries and six business units resulting in the development of ten concepts that tackle the challenges persons with disabilities face. VMware also launched a Disability Power of Difference (POD) community to roll out a series of awareness-building learning courses.
Sources & Citations
1. Employment of Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific: Trends, Strategies and Policy Recommendations, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, December 2020
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Quotes from Partners
Ms Ku Geok Boon, Chief Executive Officer, SG Enable
“With digital skills becoming increasingly transferable and in high demand across different sectors, we encourage persons with disabilities to develop their digital skills to boost their professional development and support their personal growth. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to working with VMware to equip persons with disabilities with digital skills for the future.”
Mr Frank Koo, Head of Asia, Talent and Learning Solutions, LinkedIn
“Over the past few years, it’s been encouraging to see a number of organizations embrace inclusivity in their hiring practices. We believe that everyone should have a fair shot at opportunity, and be hired based on their skills and distinct attributes. This is why we must provide workers facing barriers – including those living with disabilities – the platform and tools to help them pick up skills that are in-demand today. LinkedIn is proud to partner with VMware for the VMware Aurora initiative that will help bridge the skills gap and shape a truly inclusive workforce.”
Mr Nick Dorney, Co-Founder, and Director, Sales & Operations, Up 2 Speed Pte Ltd
“To be any part of a project such as Aurora – providing opportunities for persons with disabilities to become work-ready for jobs in the IT industry – is a huge honour for Up 2 Speed, and something we strongly believe in. Many thanks to VMware, and to all of the other partners involved in this Initiative, where we very much look forward to seeing the positive results moving forward.”
Mr Chong Kwek Bin, Head of Advocacy, Communications, Employment and Training at Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped
“It is hard to find suitable learning portals for persons with visual impairment, especially those with profound to total vision loss, as many websites and apps for this purpose are not compatible with the screen reader assistive technology that this group of individuals use to access information, and even for those with some residual vision, it may still be a challenge to make out the sometimes visually unclear and confusing presentation. SAVH welcomes VMWare’s efforts to provide more accessible options for our visually impaired and are happy to work with them to achieve this outcome.”
Mr Makito Momota, Chief Executive Officer, TomoWork
“We believe the future of work is inclusive. As the digital economy grows, companies have the obligation to create equitable opportunities for all, including persons with disabilities. We are excited to support VMware’s initiative in providing more digital learning opportunities to the underrepresented communities.”
Mr Peter Lam, Principal & CEO, Temasek Polytechnic
“Temasek Polytechnic is happy to work in partnership with VMware to offer digital skills training to our students with special education needs (SEN). Digital skills are increasingly transferable across different sectors and are instrumental in providing our students with the access to meaningful employment in new and emerging economies.”
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