Microsoft launch employability programme for access citizens with Be. Lab and local tech partners

The first of its kind, the Microsoft Enabler Program combines cloud & AI training with Be. Lab's employment programme for access citizens as well as accessibility education for employer partners, Datacom, DXC Technology and HCL Technologies.

3 people sitting and one person standing at a table working together in a workshop setting in an office

Be. Lab is delighted to be partnering with the Microsoft Enabler Program, launched today, which pioneers employment for access citizens across Asia Pacific by removing the barriers for a more diverse workforce.

With more than 1 billion access citizens in the world today, more inclusive employment can lead to a 1-7% rise in GDP in Asia Pacific through increased economic productivity. [United Nations ESCAP]

The program will pilot in five markets: Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, before expanding to the rest of the region by the end of 2020.

"There are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone who uses it. Inclusive organisations outperform their peers and attract and keep top talent, and we have seen how inclusion drives innovation.”

- Vivek Puthucode, Chief Partner Officer at Microsoft Asia Pacific

As the official Non-Profit organisation partner in New Zealand, Be. Lab will provide training through our Talent & Employment services to Microsoft NZ's partner organisations, Datacom, DXC Technology and HCL Technologies, who will in turn provide job shadowing, internships, mentoring and opportunities in tech jobs for access citizens. Microsoft will provide industry required training in cloud and artificial intelligence, as well as a platform to collaborate towards an inclusive future for every person.

“In today's workplace, it is imperative that we include everyone, and accessibility is the vehicle to inclusion. It is a responsibility and an opportunity. There are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone who uses it,” said Vivek Puthucode, Chief Partner Officer at Microsoft in Asia Pacific. “Inclusive organisations outperform their peers and attract and keep top talent, and we have seen how inclusion drives innovation”.

Skills and Knowledge

Microsoft will provide online training in data engineering and programming, cloud computing on Microsoft Azure and application development in GitHub to the PwDs. These modules will provide crucial technology skills that are globally recognised, and highly sought after in our digital first and remote everything world, therefore providing them with a learning path for industry leading skillsets that improves their employability. For the employer partners, Microsoft will conduct workshops on inclusive design and assistive technologies enabled through artificial intelligence on Microsoft Azure.

“At the heart of the Microsoft Enabler Program is a comprehensive accessibility model that will not only improve inclusion of people with disabilities across Asia Pacific for years to come; it also connects to local talent from underrepresented communities and improves our society,” continued Vivek.

Enabling the Employment of Access Citizens

To expand the talent pipeline for partners and connect job-seeking access citizens to tech roles, the program will also feature a virtual job fair, held at the end of second quarter of 2021, that brings together the local Microsoft partners and Non-Profit Organisations in each country.

Access citizens will be able to use the opportunity to showcase their skills, experience from their job attachments and interests, while businesses share roles available to connect with potential hires. In addition to job matching, the virtual event will include educational sessions about accessibility in the workplace, assistive technology as well as training, support and tools to help organisations sustain their accessibility programs.

Minnie Baragwanath, Founder of Be. Lab says, "we are delighted to be working alongside the team at Microsoft and their partners on such a critical programme to advance access and employment in Aotearoa and the wider Asia Pacific so that more businesses can realise the rich talent that lives within the access community."


+64 9 309 8966
Centre of Possibility

Room WB239
WB Building
(The Seddon Building)
63 Wellesley St East
Auckland City

PO Box 78 021
Grey Lynn 1245
New Zealand