New College Lanarkshire (NCL) in Scotland has signed a shared goals agreement with Microsoft to give students, businesses and local communities the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy. The partnership will provide courses in artificial intelligence (AI) and give students access to Microsoft experts.
Microsoft and NCL will also work together to deliver free training in cloud computing to businesses and unemployed people to increase their chances of securing jobs in the IT sector.
“By 2025, it is expected that over 149 million new technology jobs will become available in areas such as software development, cloud, data, artificial intelligence and security,” said Christopher Moore, principal of NCL. “It is vital that we ensure our students have the talent and training to support these needs and fuel economic future growth.
“Through this agreement with Microsoft, we will make technology a core part of our curriculum, equipping our students with the advanced skills and industry-recognised certifications that will give them a competitive advantage as candidates for the jobs of tomorrow.”
NCL already offers the new Microsoft Learn for Educators programme, which will see computing lecturers and students obtain industry-recognised Microsoft Certifications for a range of technologies. It is also working with Microsoft to upskill its own lecturers, who will then be able to share their knowledge with students in AI, cloud-based technologies and data analytics.
Around 100 computing students at NCL have started training in Azure Fundamentals and Azure AI Fundamentals, with Azure Data Fundamentals and Power Platform Fundamentals due to be added to the curriculum soon.
“Microsoft is proud to be collaborating with New College Lanarkshire to empower and educate students to thrive in the digital economy,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of worldwide education at Microsoft. “Through our shared goals agreement, we are committed to working collaboratively to promote and share the advantages of digital skills within the community to help students learn and grow and develop their talents to support their future employment.”