Microsoft YouthSpark - Empowering Youth to Change Their World
The world stands at a crossroads. While there are more young people on the planet than ever before, youth unemployment is double that of the total adult population. Today’s young people face an opportunity divide – a gap between those who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not. Closing this opportunity divide is one of the most important actions we can all take to secure the future of our youth and the future of our global economy.
Microsoft YouthSpark is a companywide initiative designed to create opportunities for hundreds of millions of youth around the world. Through partnerships with governments, non-profits and businesses, we aim to empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities. We want to empower youth to change their world.
Microsoft operates a range of initiatives under the YouthSpark programme in Ireland including Imagine Cup, Inspiring Careers, DreamSpark and Partners in Learning. Additionally Microsoft, in partnership with FIT (Fasttrack to IT), have launched a new initiative called Youth2Work which is a key pillar of the Microsoft YouthSpark programme in Ireland. Together Microsoft and FIT (Fasttrack to IT) have developed a range of tailored courses in areas such as Cloud, Gaming, Mobility and Web Design.
Microsoft is investing €3m in the Youth2Work programme in the form of software donations, curriculum support, financial aid as well as volunteer mentors and supporters from within the employee base. The ambition is to train over 10,000 youths in Ireland over the next 3 years – equipping them with the right skills, the right on the job training and the right social and practical supports for interviewing with success which will position them well to achieve their ambition of getting a job.