Over half of British business leaders in a YouGov survey believe the UK is racing against time to become an artificial intelligence superpower, 54% are concerned their workforce lacks the skills to make the most of the AI opportunity and just 26% have completed training to improve their understanding of AI. The survey also found 45% of job seekers are expressing interest in AI.
To address this, Microsoft is expanding its UK skilling program, Get On, aiming to equip 1 million people with the skills needed.
New resources include the first Professional Certificate on Generative AI in the online learning market, new Microsoft Learn AI content, tools and resources, virtual training days for technical and AI decision makers, non-profit employability partnerships, AI business transformation modules for business leaders, self-guided AI learning journeys and access to LinkedIn AI learning pathway grants and resources.
Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK, said: “The UK has a very real opportunity to be a leader in the era of AI, but as our research shows, there are barriers stopping the UK turning its ambition into action.”
“Every job will soon be supported by AI and we need innovative people, with the right skills, to fill those jobs. That’s why Microsoft is expanding its skills commitment. By 2025 we will support one million people to gain the AI skills they need to start, or move into, a career in technology. And in doing so, we will open up the opportunities of AI to diverse talent across the UK,” added Barclay.
Microsoft is collaborating with organisations including QA, Firebrand, Fast Lane, Skillsoft Global Knowledge, GetMyFirstJob, PwC, Catch22, Generation and The Prince’s Trust, to scale AI content and free digital training resources and courses.
Luke Mckend, Senior Director, LinkedIn Talent Solutions, UK, says: “while many professionals are keen to use AI within their jobs, they understandably feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount there is to learn and are looking for support. We need to make it as easy as possible for people to gain AI skills.”
More information for business and individuals is available on Microsoft's Digital Skills Hub.