Technology skills provide the tools and knowledge to access better jobs in every sector in Europe.
In a complex and changing economy, Microsoft believes that investing in skills and training is front and centre to Europe’s ability to innovate, drive sustainable growth and enhance workforce employability. To provide a concrete contribution to this work we have programs and initiatives which provide access to technology skills, training opportunities, curriculum, learning tools and certification to millions of people - individuals, students, trainers, businesses, IT professionals and users.
In regards to education, we specifically help educators and school leaders connect, collaborate and innovate so that students can benefit from skills like problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. We also provide comprehensive digital skills training, targeting all ages, from primary schools to lifelong learners. We aim to drive e-inclusion, target industry demand and broaden employment opportunities at all stages of the career. We deliver basic ICT competencies in addition to a portfolio of high-level skills, such as cloud-based skills, relevant across a range of different careers and professions.
We are already working hard to support this vision and in doing so we are partnering with public authorities, industry, SMEs and other stakeholders on the development and implementation of a long term e-skills and digital agenda for Europe. For example, we are co-chairing the e-Skills Industry Leadership Board; we supported the development of the EU e-skills Career Portal together with the European Schoolnet, we partner with other industry leaders in the European Alliance on Skills for Employability. Microsoft also supports the European Commission’s e-Skills strategy and we are happy to be a partner in the EU e-Skills Week initiative since 2010.
In addition, Microsoft is leading many initiatives and programmes enabling the development of eSkills in Europe:
1. Microsoft Learning just celebrated 20th Anniversary with more than 7 million people who are Microsoft Certified globally. The certification program has evolved to become one of the world’s largest and most diverse certification communities with certification in most of Microsoft products, including next generation technologies such as cloud computing and mobile
2. Microsoft Citizenship support NGOs through financial grants, software curriculum donations, and employee volunteering to help create employability prospects of the young, the disabled, older workers and other unemployed or under-employed people throughout the European Union.
3. Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is a global students’ competition aiming to mobilize students to use technology to find solutions to real world issues. It encourages young people to apply their imagination, their passion and their creativity and to imagine the opportunities of a career in ICT.
4. Microsoft's Student to Business has delivered training for 250,000 students over the past three years and established 15,000 internships and jobs at 3,000 companies. Online S2B connections are currently available in over 60 countries, including France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
5. Partners in Learning (PIL) is a Microsoft Programme that helps educators and school leaders connect, collaborate, create, and share so that students can build the skills they need for the future—such as problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.
6. Microsoft Dynamics Academic Alliance (DynAA) is a global program that provides licenses to educational institutions that want to use Microsoft Dynamics software for teaching or research purposes. Today we have about 1100 members schools which use Microsoft Dynamics business management solutions to support learning about key business processes, concepts, and theories, and as a platform for understanding Enterprise Resource Planning integrated data structure, business intelligence, and data mining.
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