Microsoft will promote its existing training, work experience and apprenticeship opportunities through the UK Youth network. It will also be offering 30 youth clubs across the country the chance to become IT Youth Hubs who will receive a technology makeover and support from an IT mentor.
Each hub will be run by a group of young people who will also learn IT and other skills relevant to the digital workplace. A peer education programme will ensure that a wider group of young people have improved IT knowledge and access. We will be asking for applications from interested clubs in September.
"This programme is a fantastic and timely addition to our work. We want to ensure that as many young people in our network are able to progress in the digital age, especially those who have limited access to IT. No business is better placed to help us do this than Microsoft." Charlotte Hill, UK Youth Chief Executive.
Neil Thompson, General Manger of Consumer Channels at Microsoft commented, “We already work with young people in schools and through our apprenticeship and work experience programmes. For those who have fallen away from formal education we felt we could do more. UK Youth does an outstanding job of helping these individuals, providing non-formal learning opportunities and we’re looking forward to working with them to help make a difference.”
Each hub will train up to three young people to become IT Champions who will be given support to develop their own IT skills with a view to helping up skill others. IT Champions will be overseen by a youth worker who will receive training and support from a Microsoft volunteer.
This partnership follows the success of Microsoft’s Britain Works campaign, which aimed to help 500,000 people into work by the end of 2012 through training, apprenticeships and work experience. To date, this campaign has supported over 480,000 people many of whom are 16-24 year old.