Online learning platform Coursera will make 3,800 of its courses available for free to people unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gizmodo reported. The Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative is part of its Coursera for Government training program for government employees.
The goal of the initiative is to help workers develop skills to become re-employed, according to a Coursera blog post. You can’t apply as an individual for the free courses; government agencies that serve unemployed workers have to apply for access.
“Coursera for Government is designed for government agencies to provide reskilling and upskilling programs for entire communities,” according to the Coursera website.
About 26 million people in the US have filed for unemployment in the past five weeks amid stay-at-home orders.
The courses include company-specific training programs from Coursera partners like Google and IBM, as well as courses in the areas of cloud computing, emerging technologies, machine learning, big data, and other business-specific 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 agencies in Arizona, Illinois, and Oklahoma, will be the first in the US to make the courses available. The governments of Colombia, Costa Rica, Greece, Malaysia, Panama, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan also are participating, according to the company. Coursera expects to add more government agencies to the program in the coming weeks.