Microsoft is launching a five-year campaign to help 1.5 million people build careers in technology and help 300,000 connect to tech job opportunities.
KPMG, Unilever and the Department of Work and Pensions are supporting the campaign and Microsoft is calling on other UK businesses to join them in helping create the technology workforce the country needs.
The UK is facing multiple challenging disruptions, including the pandemic, establishing new global trading relationships and the rapid digitisation that is happening across every part of the economy. The campaign aims to help address the widening digital talent gap in industry, to accelerate technology adoption, drive UK productivity and enhance competitiveness by increasing access to tech careers and fostering new talent pathways.
Get On 2021 builds on Microsoft’s one-year global skills initiative and will train people who are in education, those new to tech and those who have had their jobs impacted by the crisis. It will advance the skills of tech professionals and help leaders who need to embrace new business models and deploy technology to drive organisations forward.
Speaking at Microsoft’s Envision UK event, Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK, said: “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. 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.”
Microsoft research has identified two key areas for growth. Using LinkedIn data, we anticipate the need for more than three million skilled people in UK technology careers over the next five years. Allied to which, a Microsoft study with Goldsmiths, University of London has identified more than £48 billion of opportunity if UK leaders enhance their organisations’ digital competitiveness through sustainable growth practices. Visit AKA.MS/UKrecovery to download a copy of the report.
Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “I am delighted with Microsoft’s announcement of Get On 2021, boosting the confidence and skills of young people starting their careers and helping experienced workers to upskill or switch jobs. This kind of support – acting locally and in partnership with industry – is not only vital to the future of jobseekers, but also to the success of the UK economy as we build back better.
“It is extremely encouraging that this will complement our comprehensive package of support through our £30 billion Plan for Jobs – with our Kickstart scheme providing hundreds of thousands of good quality jobs for young people and our new JETS programme giving people who have recently become unemployed the helping hand they need to get back into work.”
Microsoft is working with its 25,000-strong partner community and customers to create, expand and accelerate pathways into tech careers, widening access and building a more diverse tech specialist workforce.
Lisa Heneghan, KPMG UK’s Chief Digital Officer, said: “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.
“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.”