Microsoft launches initiative to boost digital skills in Manchester

Microsoft GMCA Image credit: Microsoft & GMCA

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has joined forces with Microsoft in a three-year partnership that aims to plug the digital skills gap.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) by Microsoft and GMCA aims to support 30,000 people entering the tech and digital space in the region.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, GMCA, said: “Greater Manchester is the fasting growing tech hub in Europe, but we need to address the digital skills gap if we really want it to accelerate.

“Whether through a cybersecurity bootcamp, cloud computing apprenticeship or even just fixing up their CV, this kind of support from business is critical to ensuring people can succeed in the thriving digital and tech sector.”

Manchester is not the first region Microsoft has partnered with to improve local digital skills. In August it entered into a similar digital skills partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Marie Hamilton, Greater Manchester region lead at Microsoft, said: “Together we will shine a spotlight on the opportunities available within the tech sector, encouraging higher take-up of digital careers, improve diversity, and empower more people to benefit from the region’s growth.”

On Thursday, Manchester hosted the outgoing Tech Nation’s final report, which was met with “mixed emotions” from the tech community.

The efforts to plug the skills gap by GMCA and Microsoft come after an impressive year of funding for the region, with Greater Manchester’s startup space having raised £532m in 2022.