Today, Microsoft Ireland announced that over 2,500 people have registered for StepIn2Tech, the digital skills training programme that was launched just four months ago in partnership with Fastrack to IT (FIT).
Developed by Microsoft Ireland in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the StepIn2Tech programme aims to equip 10,000 people with the digital skills required to transfer to emerging and in-demand roles within the digital economy. It’s particularly focused on supporting those who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic and those who have either recently left school or college.
Since its launch in March, the programme has helped workers who have lost their jobs in retail, hospitality, tourism and other sectors to reset their career aspirations and pursue new career opportunities in the digital economy.
The 10,000 digital skills training places being provided by Microsoft Ireland are additional to the 50,000 further education and training places being provided by Government through the new ‘Pathways to Work’ scheme, which was recently unveiled.
Speaking about his StepIn2Tech experience, graduate David Kelly said: “I was working in a coffee shop when the pandemic hit and then I suddenly found myself at home with no job. I started to look into my options and discovered StepIn2Tech. Over the past couple of months, I’ve completed each of the learning pathways within the programme which included coding, cloud and digital marketing.
“StepIn2Tech is a great programme made even easier by the fact that learners can do it from their own home. The best bit for me was the guided mentoring and support that I received along the way. As a result of the skills that I developed by participating in StepIn2Tech, I’ve been able to secure a place on a pre-tech apprenticeship with FIT, which will hopefully provide a stepping-stone into a career within the technology sector. I’m very excited to be on a new career pathway and am optimistic about what the future holds.”
James O’Connor, Vice President of Microsoft International Operations, said: “StepIn2Tech is one of a number of initiatives that Microsoft Ireland has developed as part of our Pathways for Life education and training programme, which empowers learners – irrespective of their age, background or experience – to participate fully in Ireland’s digital economy through the development of their digital skills. We launched StepIn2Tech as a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic with the goal of supporting an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery. The programme helps people to acquire the digital skills that are needed to secure employment in the digital economy but also to thrive in their existing roles that, because as a result of the past 18 months, may have been digitized.
“The initiative has been received positively and we’ve been delighted to see so many complete the course to date and learn of the individual success stories behind each learner. Two weeks ago, the Government announced its own ambitious ‘Pathways to Work’ scheme which focuses on helping people displaced in the jobs market to acquire new skills to secure employment post-pandemic. StepIn2Tech will support this mission and I’d encourage anyone whether early or mid-career or out of work to avail of this training to accelerate your employment opportunities.”
Peter Davitt, CEO, Fastrack to IT, said: “We were delighted to join forces with Microsoft Ireland to launch StepIn2Tech earlier this year. As a result of the pandemic, digital skills have become essential skills for a wide range of roles across multiple sectors. Furthermore, due to the pace of digital transformation that has occurred over the last 18 months, the digital skills gap has widened and so it’s essential that people leverage programmes such as StepIn2Tech to upskill to play a meaningful role in our economy’s recovery.
“StepIn2Tech has already resulted in positive learner outcomes, whereby some have chosen to pursue additional education and training opportunities and others have progressed on to apprenticeships or returned to employment. I’d like to encourage anyone who is interested in either developing their digital skills or considering a new career to register for free today to StepIn2Tech.”
For more information on #StepIn2Tech or to register to participate in the programme, visit: https://fit.ie/stepin2tech/.