Microsoft helps close the UK digital skills gap

The urgent need for qualified IT professionals was made evident at Microsoft Digital Skills Week (15 – 19 November), a series of online events that supports the development of digital skills and technological knowledge, and empowering a new digital workforce.

The event programme includes keynote presentations and technical workshops aimed at business leaders, IT professionals, HR/training managers and students.

Microsoft UK Chief Operating Officer Soraya Scott announced: “While many workers across the UK are actively seeking new job opportunities, a widening gulf between employers seeking digital talent and people searching for opportunities continues to exist.”

Microsoft Digital Skills Week is part of the Microsoft Get On initiative, which aims to help 1.5 million people build tech careers and directly connect 300,000 individuals to UK tech job opportunities.

Digital skills are driving UK employment

With up to 82% of UK job roles requiring digital skills, the UK government has long recognised the need to support the growth of digital careers at all stages.

Microsoft agrees, with its recent research confirming that 59% of employees say developing their digital skills is important.

How can employers meet the skills demand?

During the Microsoft Skills Webinar “Connecting diverse talent to tech job opportunities”, a panel of experts discussed several ‘skills solutions’ that employers could adopt.

Recruitment is an obvious solution but it can be difficult, as qualified and experienced IT professionals are in short supply and often demand high salaries. It was recommended that organisations focus on building a diverse talent pipeline that matches their business plan for sustainable growth.

This pipeline should include hiring and training new staff who may not have a STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) background and developing existing employees’ skills.

With the need for new skills associated with the Cloud, data science, software development and AI, all the panel experts recommended a programme of training at more frequent intervals.

Not sure where to start?

The Microsoft Skills Webinar discussion highlighted an urgent need to clearly explain the nature of the digital skills required and how they relate to job roles.

Microsoft UK Chief Learning Officer Simon Lambert confirmed: “The Microsoft Learn web portal provides a great place to start for anyone who needs to understand the concepts and opportunities of our technologies. Our free resources include interactive learning paths and five recommended introductory courses on the topics of C# coding, Azure, Cloud Computing, Power Platform and AI.”

We particularly like the free Azure Fundamentals introductory course, which provides the perfect prelude to our own Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Training Course.

Our commitment to building your Microsoft skills

Our Microsoft training course portfolio delivers the skills required to design and implement digital security controls and threat protection in Microsoft 365 and Azure cloud networks and hybrid environments.

As part of the Microsoft Digital Skills Week, we are pleased to announce that our Microsoft training courses are now available with a 20% discount. This offer only applies to orders received before 30 November.

No Responses