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Microsoft helps 100,000 young unemployed find work

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Microsoft gives 100,000 young people the opportunity to kick-start their career as part of its Britain Works programme.

Britain Works is Microsoft’s three-year commitment to get 500,000 people into jobs by 2012 and in the past 12 months it has already helped over 104,000 people across the UK find employment.

Over the next year, the Britain Works campaign will focus on tackling youth unemployment, working to help provide a fair chance for all. New opportunities will be created through a combination of work experience placements run by Microsoft, its partners and its customers in addition to 450,000 training vouchers and 3,000 new IT Apprenticeships over the life of the programme. Microsoft will be working with Remploy to make certain that these opportunities go to the people who need them most. The campaign also includes a partnership with LinkedIn where free advice and mentoring opportunities will be provided for all young people looking to get their first break:

Gordon Frazer, Managing Director, Microsoft UK said: "Youth unemployment and a lack of social mobility are just two of the issues facing our society as we seek to emerge from the shadow of recession. Britain’s young people are some of the hardest hit and we want to do our part, working closely with the Government and our partners in giving them the opportunity to build their careers regardless of their background. Microsoft’s Britain Works is about providing a fair chance for all through access to skills, training, and opportunities. This year we are adding to our programme and asking other businesses to make a commitment to help the most disadvantaged by offering new work experience places to the people who need them most. "

To kick start the campaign, Microsoft has created 150 new work experience placements in a programme designed to provide young people with the tangible skills they need to help boost their employment prospects such as team working, problem solving and presenting. In addition, Sky has joined the Britain Works programme and will be offering merit based work experience opportunities to individuals. Microsoft will also provide a ‘Good Work Experience’ guide for organisations considering joining the campaign who have not run structured work experience schemes before.

Microsoft is also providing 450,000 training vouchers to enable communities to access skills for the digital economy. These vouchers are being delivered through a range of local and regional government bodies as part of their efforts to support local employment opportunities. The Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum is also available online or at any UK Online Centre.