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Microsoft’s National Digital Skills Programmes for UK: There’s More than What Meets the Eye

According to Microsoft, UK will remain a global leader in cloud technologies by offering a national digital skills training program for free! Although the initiative seems benevolent, analysts opine that the tech giant is aiming to secure apprenticeships at a higher rate, and compete with Amazon Web Services’ cloud skills training initiative.

Microsoft gifting its high-priced digital technology and cloud computing courses for free is sure to raise some eyebrows. There’s no denying that people in the UK are feeling lucky to be the sole beneficiaries of availing the esteemed Microsoft certifications for free. Kick-starting its plans for developing a better global technological workforce in this year, Microsoft recently announced that it will offer a “free of cost” national skill development program in the UK, which is targeted to equip the country’s tech rookies with basic as well as advanced expertise on cloud technologies.

Cindy Rose, the CEO of Microsoft UK made the announcement on January 26, citing how Microsoft will continue to invest in the UK’s digital economy, despite contradictory speculations that emerged after Britain’s exit in the 2016 EU referendum vote. Microsoft’s plans to offer free digital skill training for people in the UK are aimed at helping the country remain at forefront of being a globally-recognized cloud-enabled economy.

According to Rose, the program will help UK “realize its full potential” in “charting a new and different path to its future” through “a successful transition to a cloud-enabled economy.” While tech aspirants in UK are joyous at the prospect of receiving free digital skill training services, analysts aren’t too amused with this charitable move.

Why UK?

As Microsoft’s most-authoritative spokesperson for the UK, Rose believes that “the fourth industrial revolution is underway – one driven by the transformative power of cloud technologies.” A key prospect of this program is strengthening UK’s digital economy by equipping its people with vital cloud technology skills. Rose, who was appointed as Microsoft UK’s CEO at the same time Britain voted itself out of the European Union last year, emphasizes on “maintaining the UK’s global competitiveness” by reassuring its people that literacy on cloud technologies will instrument a constructive economic transformation.

Besides, Microsoft’s rapport with tech talents from the UK goes long back and has been quite profiting for the company’s global performance. Over the last decade, more than twenty-five thousand UK-based companies partnered with Microsoft to deliver 11,000 digital apprentices, helping the company surpass its 2012 target of fetching 4,000 tech tyros without a hitch.

Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, believes that the UK is “one of the best places in the world to do digital business.” Microsoft concurred with this by highlighting the scope of developing an enhanced digital technology workforce in the UK. The Microsoft Digital Transformation Report cited how only 35% of the public sector leadership personnel in the UK were digitally-literate. Microsoft’s free digital skill training program is anticipated to assist several public sector enterprises in the UK to tackle challenges emanating from following the conventional and technologically-illiterate paths to business success.

What’s in it for Microsoft?

Cindy Rose and Phillip Hammond have been collectively collaborating towards implementing this program, regardless of its profitability. Although, let’s not forget that the company is known for laying groundwork to reap long-term profits. With this program, Microsoft aims to triple the rate of securing internships for digital technology from the UK. By 2020, Microsoft’s Apprenticeship Programme is likely to have garnered an additional 30,000 digital apprenticeships from the UK.


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