Press Releases & Coverage

Skillsoft Joins Forces with Virtuosity of Afflatus iLabs to Help Address India's Skills Shortage Epidemic

9 March 2009 - Chennai, India

SkillSoft, a leading e-learning company, has joined forces with Virtuosity, India's premier workforce development organisation, a subsidiary of Afflatus iLabs (India), a leading technology innovations company, to provide much needed online strategic solutions and education resources to thousands of under skilled and unemployable Indian graduates who are eager to kick start their business careers, regardless of their socioeconomic and/or personal backgrounds.

With more than five million Indian graduates remaining unemployed at any given time, the SkillSoft-Virtuosity alliance will aim to better understand employer needs, supply valuable training resources that improve business performance, help articulate business expectations in education institutions and engage industry leaders with higher education institutions.

This alliance will also include the creation of a Virtuosity National Skill Bank of trained professionals to address the growing need for highly skilled workers in India. This bank will help graduates find the right jobs and employers find the right talent anywhere in India.

The alliance will also assist with the radical overhaul that India's education and training regime needs to ensure that India's large workforce becomes a more highly skilled workforce. Afflatus will also develop Centers of Excellence in Educational Institutions, in not only the major cities but also in remote areas directly and through social welfare organisations.

In its relationship with Virtuosity, SkillSoft will provide hundreds of key online training resources ranging from IT Skills, Business Skills and the Leadership Development ChannelTM to thousands of Indian graduates who require macro and micro-level business training and skill set enhancement before they enter the Indian workforce.

Virtuosity now offers a range of technical, functional and life skills from SkillSoft's expansive educational resource network that can further enhance and develop the business and leadership skills of Indian graduates who crave to succeed in the skills-driven Indian business marketplace.

According to Dr R. Palani, Chairman, Afflatus iLabs, the opportunity to introduce SkillSoft's expertise into the organisation's unique online education, training and networking solution was a strategic and fundamental step forward in reducing the extreme skill set shortage in India.

"India's education system is facing serious challenges - poor literacy, lack of education accessibility and technical training. That is why the Afflatus iLabs/SkillSoft union with Virtuosity could not come at a better time," he said.

"Afflatus' partnership with SkillSoft in the Virtuosity skill building initiative is such a coup for the entire Indian graduate community, particularly those in the rural areas of India as SkillSoft has been able to connect with our vision, not just the business potential. SkillSoft is willing to support Afflatus to achieve Virtuosity's cause of transforming Indian education."

"We are also thrilled that the Honourable Union Minister for Information Technology and Communications, Government of India, Mr A. Raja and Honourable Minister for Higher Education, Government of Tamil Nadu, Dr K. Ponmudy, have invested the time to attend the launch of this strategic alliance between Afflatus and SkillSoft. This reflects the fundamental importance of the Virtuosity skill building initiative to the people of India."

According to SkillSoft Director, Asia, Peter Kokkinos, SkillSoft's affiliation with Afflatus iLabs is an opportunity to help provide greater accessibility to education to all Indian socio-economic groups.

"Afflatus iLabs' uncompromising commitment to bringing and delivering innovative education initiatives is what we, at SkillSoft strive to do."


About SkillSoft

SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL) is a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) provider of on-demand e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small- to medium-sized businesses.

With its Asia Pacific headquarters in Sydney, SkillSoft enables business organisations to maximise business performance through a combination of comprehensive e-learning content, online information resources, flexible learning technologies and support services.

About Afflatus iLabs

Afflatus iLabs, the technology avatar of Alpha Foundation for Education and Research, aims to provide educational leadership as India's premier workforce development organisation instilling educational excellence at all levels and partnering with academia, industry, government and individuals to develop a skilled community.

Alpha Foundation for Education and Research, since its inception in 1991, has been in the forefront of making world-class education available and affordable to all Indians. Alpha has made great strides in the three major areas of institutionalised delivery of education by harnessing contemporary technologies with the right human resources, revitalised curriculum that integrates acquisition of knowledge and skills, innovative instructional methodologies that ensure constructive engagement of every student, and radical evaluation strategies that profile students' true learning outcomes.