CBI, the voice of business, are predicting that unemployment could reach 3 million in the UK by the middle of next year. It reached 2.4m in August. In a bid to tackle this issue, Microsoft have launched their ‘Britain Works’ campaign, born from the belief that “there’s only so much” that government ministers can do to support people who are unemployed.

This incentive aims to provide training and paid apprenticeships throughout the Microsoft network and has been given the seal of approval by the CBI. Financial backing is being provided to many of the smaller businesses within the Microsoft corporation to train 3,000 IT apprentices. The software giant has previously run a similar initiative which was based purely in the West Midlands. Based on the previous project, it is believed that the first IT apprentices (approximately 700) should be ready by September next year. Overall, up to 500,000 unemployed people could be helped by the programme.

Britain Works is a partnership initiative which will see Microsoft working alongside Job centre Plus. Opportunities will be available for jobseekers to take part in varying levels of IT training courses through the allocation of vouchers.

Former director-general of the CBI, Lord Jones, said: “There are thousands of people who do not have the appropriate skills that businesses need in today’s IT led economy. Businesses still need these people, and so a significant part of this campaign will focus on making ‘Skills for Business’ training vouchers available.”

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