Tech giant Microsoft has revealed that over 500,000 UK residents have increased their skillset with new digital abilities over the last three months, using free online study courses.
These newly skilled UK citizens are among the 10 million individuals across 231 different countries who have taken part in the courses offered from Microsoft-owned social network site LinkedIn since July. The new landmark statistic was announced by Microsoft only 12 weeks following the successful launch of its ambitious initiative to assist 25 million individuals in expanding their digital skillset in 2020.
According to the Office for National Statistics, figures that indicate about 1.4 million UK citizens are currently unemployed - a number likely to go up further following the end of the government’s furlough scheme, making Microsoft’s ambition even more crucial than before.
The new figures unveiled by Microsoft show that 509,474 individuals around the country have taken one of the free digital courses, making the UK rank in third place when it comes to learners using the available learning opportunities across the globe. While the United States reported the largest number of learners, India took second place with data revealing the learning choices most commonly opted for were related to positions presently experiencing a high demand, including roles like Digital Marketing and Customer Service Specialist, and Software Developer.
UK Country Manager for LinkedIn, Josh Graff, said:
“We’re delighted that our free LinkedIn Learning courses are helping so many people all over the country gain the critical skills that employers are looking for today. COVID-19 has highlighted more than ever the importance of digital skills and how key they are to securing new jobs and setting people up for the long-term.”
The recent news from Microsoft arrives following UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s vow to create radical alterations to the system for adult education in order to support those seeking to acquire new skills and boost the nation’s economy.
As an important element of the government’s adult learning initiative dubbed “the national Skills Toolkit”, Microsoft is working to reach even more individuals looking to learn new digital skills through these dedicated online courses.
From the popular Microsoft 365 suite to collaboration platforms like SharePoint and communication solutions like Teams, Microsoft technology is fast becoming an integral part of many professional roles. From cutting-edge machine learning and new advances in virtual reality, companies around the world are transforming digitally and seeking a skilled and tech-savvy workforce as staff.
CEO for Microsoft UK, Clare Barclay, commented:
“As a country we face multiple challenges, but we believe that learning unlocks opportunity. Today, more than ever, individuals, businesses and government must build the skills we need for tomorrow because if we fail to act now, the UK could easily be left behind in the global economy.”
If your enterprise employs Microsoft solutions such as SharePoint, Yammer and the 365 suite, you can rely on WM Reply to help you make the most of this technology. Contact our team today and ensure your staff’s skills are always up to date.