Microsoft launches free skills training in UK
Thu 26 Jan 2017
Microsoft has launched a new program that offers free digital skills training to employees in the United Kingdom public sector.
30,000 public servants will be trained at no cost in a range of digital skills, from everyday digital literacy to more advanced cloud technology skills. The intention, according to Microsoft’s press release describing the program, is to equip the government and public sector participants to improve efficiency and deliver modernized services to people in the UK.
Additionally, free digital literacy training will be available through Microsoft to all people in the United Kingdom, through an online program aimed at improving digital skills for everyone, regardless of industry or employment status.
Cindy Rose, CEO of Microsoft UK, said that the key to maintaining the country’s competitiveness will be dependent upon cloud adoption. “We believe a fourth industrial revolution is under way – one driven by the transformative power of cloud technologies,” she said. To this end, in addition to the public sector training program, Microsoft also announced the launch of a Cloud Skills Initiative. Through this plan, the company hopes to train half a million UK citizens in advanced cloud technologies by 2020.
Microsoft will also increase participants in the existing MS Digital Apprentice Program by 30,000, more than tripling the current apprentice placements to date. The Digital Apprentice Program matches interested parties with Microsoft partners and customers, in a network of over 25,000 participating organizations. The program provides motivated people with the first step in their careers, with paid internships often leading to permanent job placement for successful candidates.
The announcement of Microsoft’s rollout and expansion of training programs in the UK was made while Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was visiting Microsoft’s UK headquarters. During the visit, a number of Microsoft products were demonstrated for Chancellor Hammond including the Surface Edge 4, Cortana, and the Microsoft HoloLens mixed-reality headset.
The Chancellor noted that future economic growth in the United Kingdom depends upon the technology industry. “It’s a key part of our Industrial Strategy to back Britain for the long term, creating the conditions where business can flourish, driving growth for the whole nation,” he said.
“This is further evidence that Britain is one of the best places in the world to do digital business. Microsoft’s commitment to training, technology and apprenticeships will ensure that we remain at the cutting-edge of innovation.”