Microsoft is launching a five-year campaign – Get On 2021 – to help 1.5 million people in the UK build careers in technology and connect a further 300,000 with technology-related job opportunities.
In light of recent research showing that many UK organisations are not effectively embracing technology, Microsoft is working with organisations such as KPMG, Unilever and the Department of Work and Pensions to address the widening digital talent gap in the UK.
“The shape of the UK economy and its workforce is changing; a change only accelerated by the rapid move to digital working in the wake of the disruption we’ve seen this year,” said Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK, at Microsoft’s Envision UK event. “With hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs and some traditional sectors heavily impacted, we urgently need to invest in UK technical skills and capability to help realise our competitive potential. We want to help people get the right skills to thrive in technology careers, and employers find the right talent to help drive business success and UK prosperity. Together we can build a future based on long-term sustainable growth.”
Get On 2021 builds on Microsoft’s one-year global skills initiative to train those who are in education, those new to technology and those who have had their jobs impacted by the crisis. Microsoft says that it will “advance the skills of technology professionals and help leaders who need to embrace new business models and deploy technology to drive organisations forward.”
“Given the speed with which the world has revolutionised digitally, not only in the last six months, but in the recent decades – the importance of digital and technical skills for the next generation of workers cannot be stressed enough,” said Lisa Heneghan, chief digital officer at KPMG UK. “The business community must recognise the need to build technology into the bones of our business strategies and community outreach, as we have done at KPMG. In the current economic climate, investing in career opportunities for a tech-driven talent pipeline will be vital to help futureproof the success of the UK economy.”