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David Cameron Welcomes Microsoft UK IT Skills Initiative

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Microsoft launches three-year campaign to help 300,000 youngsters into work

Microsoft has launched a campaign to boost IT skills amongst 16-24 year olds to help them get into their first job, and Prime Minister David Cameron has offered his personal backing.

The ‘Get On’ initiative will run through to 2015 and Microsoft wants it to reach 300,000 people over that time. It will be involved in a variety of activities, from pre-apprenticeship training and actual apprenticeships to IT academies and technology learning resources.

Microsoft will also be providing  IT equipment in 30 youth clubs, as well as running “work inspiration sessions” to inspire youngsters about what careers are available to them.

David Cameron upbeat

“To succeed in the global race, and boost the UK economy, it is vital that we give young people every opportunity to work hard and get on in life,” Cameron said. “Microsoft’s ‘Get On’ campaign is exactly the kind of support we need from business to inspire, provide skills, and create meaningful opportunities in the industries that will drive our economy forward in the future.”

Cameron will meet with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer today to talk about how the Coalition and the tech giant can work together on developing skills.

“In these difficult economic times, the best investment we can make is in our young people, to help them develop the skills and creativity they need to create our economic and social future,” added Ballmer.

“As part of our recently announced global company-wide commitment to youth – Microsoft YouthSpark – our ‘Get On’ programme in the UK will connect young people with opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship so they can develop the confidence and skills required to compete in a global market and build a rewarding career.”

The government is due to release a draft of of the updated ICT curriculum in the coming weeks, as it works to embed the right skills at the grass-roots level.

Chloe Smith, the new cyber security minister in the Cabinet Office, told TechWeekEurope this week there could be “positive stuff” surrounding security in that curriculum.

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