Microsoft invests €6m in plan to change future of 30,000 Irish youth
Peter Davitt, CEO, FIT; Cathriona Hallahan, managing director, Microsoft Ireland; An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, and Bernard Dunne, Youth2Work Champion, at the Microsoft offices in Dublin

Microsoft invests €6m in plan to change future of 30,000 Irish youth

21 Feb 20131 Share

Software giant Microsoft is to invest €6m to empower 30,000 youth to change their futures over the next three years through education initiatives, software donations to non-profits and support for various entrepreneurial initiatives.

As part of the YouthSpark programme, Microsoft and FIT have come together to develop Youth2Work to help tackle Ireland’s youth unemployment problem. It is a training and development programme targeted at 18-25-year-olds, giving them information, advice and access to ‘in-demand’ skills, work experience and interview and CV development support.

Complementing existing government-funded interventions, this youth-focused initiative aims to reach 30,000 unemployed youth over the next three years, helping to strengthen their chances of securing work in the IT sector.  

Bernard Dunne has been announced as the Youth2Work Champion. A former WBA Super Bantamweight World Champion and now an accomplished broadcaster and author, Dunne is an example of someone who has continually acquired new skills and has evolved his career in the process. To show his support for the Youth2Work initiative and to highlight the accessibility of the training, Dunne will complete a mobile technology course over the next four months.

“While the economic indicators are beginning to improve, a major concern for the future is the high level of youth unemployment,” said Cathriona Hallahan, a newly appointed managing director of Microsoft.

“I welcome the Government’s commitment to addressing this problem and was delighted to see that it is a priority for the EU Presidency.

“As a company, we feel that we have a responsibility to develop solutions to this major challenge. By investing in YouthSpark, and specifically in Youth2Work with the invaluable support of FIT, we aim to positively impact the lives of thousands of young people over the next three years, helping to close the opportunity divide by connecting them to greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship, which will help them get on the pathway to work,” Hallahan said.  

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist. He joined Silicon Republic in 2002 to become the fulcrum of the company’s news service He was recipient of the Irish Internet Association’s NetVisionary Technology Journalist Award 2005 and Siliconrepublic.com has been awarded ‘Best Technology Site’ at the Irish Web Awards seven times. In 2011 he received the David Manley Award commending him for his dedication to covering entrepreneurs. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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