Microsoft StepIn2Tech branded footprints are on the path outside a Microsoft office building.
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft launches five new digital courses to help people reskill

4 Mar 2021

With a set of free courses, Microsoft aims to give 10,000 people impacted by Covid-19 the digital skills required for emerging and in-demand jobs.

Microsoft has launched a new digital skills training programme that aims to support 10,000 people in Ireland impacted by Covid-19.

The StepIn2Tech programme was developed with Fastrack to IT, a technology organisation working to grow Ireland’s talent pipeline in the sector. It falls under Microsoft’s Pathways for Life programme, which already includes Dreamspace and other education and training initiatives.

There are five free courses available on the programme; productivity, coding, infrastructure, cloud and design. Based on the course an individual takes part in, they will learn skills across Microsoft Office, Microsoft Azure, the Windows operating system and networking, cloud technologies, HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and graphic design skills with programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver.

Who is StepIn2Tech for?

The programme has been developed to support people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic, who have recently left school or college, or are mid-career in an industry undergoing digital transformation.

Those taking part will complete the courses online at their own pace and will get access to one-to-one advice and mentoring from Fastrack to IT’s ‘digi-chaperones’, as well as guidance and support from Microsoft employees on developing their soft skills.

Microsoft said participants will learn the technical and soft skills required to gain an entry-level role either directly in a technology company or within traditional sectors that are becoming increasingly digitised.

“The acceleration in digital transformation of traditional and new companies and sectors over recent months has unlocked new areas of employment, ranging from digital marketing to cloud services,” said Microsoft Ireland’s managing director, Cathriona Hallahan.

“We have partnered with Fastrack to IT to create a bespoke reskilling programme, with the support of Prodigy Learning, that equips those recently made unemployed or temporarily displaced with the digital skills that match today’s and tomorrow’s in-demand jobs. For many people, they won’t previously have considered a role in technology.

“The StepIn2Tech courses are designed to show people that technology is now part of almost every job – and having even basic digital skills opens up loads of opportunities. This is about accessible learning, with plenty of supports for people who are new to the area.”

Investing in skills for Ireland

According to an Accenture report published this morning (4 March), workers in Ireland aren’t confident that their skills could help them progress to a promotion or a new role. Launching the report, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris, TD, said his department is “working hard to ensure people have the right skills to gain employment and for businesses to grow and develop”.

Harris also spoke about the launch of StepIn2Tech. “From remote learning and working from home to staying connected with friends and family, we all know how vital digital skills have become,” he said.

“This innovative initiative by Microsoft will help support thousands most adversely affected by Covid-19 and offer them new opportunities to reskill and find employment within growing areas of the economy.”

Learn more about StepIn2Tech here.

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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