Microsoft's BETTER project bags CSR award

business December 04, 2011 00:00

By The Nation

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The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (Amcham) has picked the 'BETTER' programme of Microsoft Thailand for its CSR award from among 36 companies, for its active role in bolstering the Thai workforce through technology.

Under the BETTER project, the company, established in 1993, gives tools to the Thai workforce nationwide to improve their computer literacy, apply practical ICT skills and tools to their business, upgrade their job skills using ICT, improve their self-learning skills towards life-long-learning experiences, and gain more information accessible through the Internet.

Currently, 21,467 people are benefiting from the programme with expectations that the number will reach 40,000. Participants confirmed that the IT knowledge and confidence they gained improved their abilities at their current jobs, while some advanced in their careers after joining the programme.

Microsoft Thailand was presented the 4th annual ACE Recognition award, at the fifth annual Amcham Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence (ACE) Recognition 2011.

Amcham said Microsoft Thailand had previously been recognised for its Unlimited Potential – Community Technology Skills Programme in 2007, its MultiPoint Mouse Programme – under the Partners in Learning Programme in 2009, and Imagine Cup Competition in 2010.

In order to qualify for the ACE Recognition award this year, the ‘BETTER’ project fulfilled the award criteria – creation of long-term economic and social gains; engagement of stakeholders; communication and sharing of best practices, and incorporation of sustainability in the CSR Programme.

The BETTER project, which has been running for three years, is a cooperative effort between Microsoft Thailand, the Kenan Institute Asia and the Department of Skill Development, supporting the IT skills enhancement of Thailand’s workforce. The project also supports the creation of the Asean Economic Community, which will come into effect in 2015, by preparing the Thai workforce to compete with the entire region.

“Microsoft Thailand believes that greater access to technology and the sharing of IT skills can really transform lives and enhance living standards, so we have been focusing a lot of our attention on this through the BETTER Programme for workforce enhancement,” said Birathon Kasemsri na Ayudhaya, managing director of Microsoft (Thailand).

“We have a fundamental belief in using technology to bridge the gaps in our society and better equip the Thai workforce with the knowledge and skills that are necessary in today’s IT world. The project plays a vital role in bringing success to the Thai peoples’ careers in terms of workforce capabilities and job opportunities, and will eventually prepare them for the upcoming Asean free trade in the future,” Amcham president Peter Eliot said.

“I would like to congratulate Microsoft Thailand for being honoured with this prestigious ACE award for the fourth time since 2007. This year, ACE Recognition has identified Microsoft Thailand’s CSR best practices in its BETTER project for creating both long-term economic and social value for Thailand by invigorating the Thai workforce with the necessary IT skills for their individual career success and to further IT growth of the Thai nation as a whole,” Eliot said.

Amcham’s ACE programme is aimed to:

• raise awareness of CSR among Amcham members;

• provide recognition to firms with best practice CSR programmes;

• gather information on CSR best practices to share with all Amcham member companies;

• continue Amcham’s CSR leadership among foreign chambers in Thailand.

ACE Recognition identifies Amcham members’ CSR best practices which demonstrate an understanding of the linkages between business operations and society, and conducting business in a way that creates both long-term economic and social value.