Microsoft and UK West Midlands Combined Authority to close skills gap

Microsoft and UK West Midlands Combined Authority to close skills gap


Partnership will deliver digital training and financial investment in the region

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Microsoft and West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) have partnered to deliver digital skills and financial investment in the region. 

The joint effort will include new training content for WMCA digital skills bootcamps, business-led regional learning days from Microsoft and its partner network, on-demand training with LinkedIn Learning and a talent connector to match individuals with digital opportunities. 

“A key part of my mayoral mission is to equip our local residents – particularly our young people – with the digital skills that will enable them to succeed in the 21st-century economy as well as enjoy a great quality of life alongside their families,” said Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands. “This timely and tremendously exciting joint initiative with Microsoft that we’re announcing today helps us to deliver on this important mission.

“Together with Microsoft’s expertise and funding, we will connect talent from across our region with the high-quality jobs of the future – supercharging my 100,000 jobs plan and putting the might of a major global employer behind a sector with immense potential to support growth in our region in the months and years ahead. I cannot wait for us to get started and see lives changed for the better.”

This multi-year initiative will build on the 2022 Commonwealth Games – which was held in Birmingham – as well as WMCA’s regional digital skills bootcamp and Microsoft’s UK-wide Get On campaign to help 1.5 million people in the UK build a career in technology.

It will also highlight the region’s role as the UK’s fastest growing technology economy outside London. The two organisations will identify the most in-demand roles in the area and the skills needed for them. They will then collaborate to improve existing and create new skills programmes to provide these skills.  

“The Commonwealth Games has delivered far more than medals for this country; it has reminded people of the importance of Birmingham at the heart of our nation,” said Derrick McCourt, general manager of customer success at Microsoft UK. “There is an abundance of talent in the West Midlands and employment opportunity in digital, but I passionately believe that if we want to create equality of opportunity then we must invest in skills. This ambitious programme will connect more people to the careers available in technology and ensure they play a key part of the future of the region.”

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