SINGAPORE - HP plans to set up 20 tech hubs across South-east Asia by the end of 2020 to help the youth in underserved communities.
The hubs will provide technology and entrepreneurship training for students aged 13 and above, and aims to upskill 10,000 young people by year end.
Six tech hubs have already been established in Lombok and Jakarta in Indonesia, as well as Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The remaining hubs are planned in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
They will each be equipped with 15 to 20 new PCs and networking support from HP, and will make use of both classroom and online learning.
Students will be taught Microsoft Office, coding, business communications and how to start a small business. Courses in entrepreneurship are adapted from HP Life, a free HP Foundation programme that also offers modules on marketing and business development.
Mr Ng Tian Chong, managing director for Greater Asia at HP, said the tech giant has a responsibility to help prepare young people for the post-Covid-19 reality.
"To help them thrive in the new future of work, we need to build up their confidence, impart them the skills, and give them access to equal opportunities. Through the HP Tech Hubs, we equip youths in underserved communities with technical and practical knowledge," he said.
HP said that its overall educational initiatives have benefited more than 1.3 million student and adult learners in the Asia-Pacific thus far.
HP is also committing to the goal of eliminating 75 per cent of single-use plastic packaging by 2025. This builds on HP's commitment made last year to increase recycled content plastics across its print and personal systems portfolio to 30 per cent by 2025.
These initiatives were announced in HP's 2019 Sustainable Impact Report released on Thursday (June 25).
Mr Ng noted that HP's sustainable impact strategy drove over US$1.6 billion (S$2.2 billion) in new sales in its 2019 financial year, an estimated 69 per cent increase year on year.
HP also highlighted its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the report. In 2019, women made up 40 per cent of its global hires, and 44 per cent in Asia, while its board of directors comprised of 42 per cent women and 58 per cent minorities.