Microsoft pledge to help the young
Hugh Milward, director of corporate affairs at Microsoft, explains why the IT giant is playing its part to help resolve the skills mismatch between young people and available jobs, following the launch of a campaign to offer 300,000 training opportunities to under-25s.
The UK faces a skills challenge. Almost one million 16-24 year olds are unemployed, 42pc of people leave school with fewer than five A-C GCSEs and four in 10 young people don’t believe they finished school with the skills required to find jobs.
This is a bleak outlook, and temporary joblessness can easily become a long-term problem, a downward spiral of disappointment leading to despair. Nor does it contribute to a healthy economy.
But we believe we can help solve that skills challenge. For Microsoft, the UK has always been a key part of our history. This is our 30th year here, and during those three decades, we’ve helped to create thousands of jobs, partnered with more than 30,000 small and medium sized businesses, built a world class research and development centre in Cambridge, and a thriving group of industry leading games studios.
We recognise the talent, ambition and entrepreneurial spirit that are at the heart of what it means to be British, traits embodied in the Olympics just a few short months ago and that have helped make our business the success it is today.
It is in this spirit then that we know how important it is for our future and the future of businesses across the country that we help young people acquire useful skills and become more employable because if we don’t, then none of us will have a successful future. We cannot stand by and watch young people struggle.
We will give them the skills they need both in school and at work. We will support them in their training and their first steps into jobs. We will work in partnership with the small businesses and start-ups to access the talent they need to grow. In short, we want to change the refrain that says people don’t have the right skills, aspiration or ability.