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Digital skills

Microsoft extends Catch22 partnership to equip more people with digital skills

A man works on a laptop computer, editing photographs.

More people facing social barriers will be supported to develop their digital skills and secure sustainable careers, thanks to an extension of the highly successful partnership between Microsoft and Catch22.

Building on the success of the Digital Edge programme, funded by Microsoft and delivered by Catch22, the new grant will allow Catch22 to:

  • Scale the impact of Digital Edge – which is a four-week programme supporting people from underserved communities into tech enabled roles. 121 people have completed the programme, with nearly 50 of those already securing roles.
  • Expand Digital Edge into a new location: the programme will now be delivered in Southwest England – in addition to London, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.
  • Launch a new strand, Digital Lift: Digital Lift will be a new essential digital skills for work curriculum for individuals going into non-tech focused roles. It will build on Catch22’s existing employability programmes.

Kat Dixon, Director of Partnerships at Catch22, said:

“We’re thrilled to build and expand our partnership with Microsoft and help more young people into good jobs. Digital skills are becoming an essential part of almost every workplace – yet we know that many people, particularly those with social barriers, are digitally excluded. The expansion of Digital Edge means we’ll be able to help more people secure and thrive in tech-enabled jobs. And for those people who need basic digital skills, our new Digital Lift programme will mean participants – whatever their background – can develop the right skills to enter the job market.”

Hugh Milward, General Manager of Corporate, External and Legal Affairs at Microsoft UK said:

“Talent is everywhere; it’s the opportunity that needs unlocking. For many young people, the social barriers and hurdles they face in accessing this opportunity can be overwhelming. That’s why partnerships with organisations like Catch22 are vital in opening up the playing field for people who are often disadvantaged because of their background. I’m looking forward to seeing a new pool of talent take advantage of the Digital Edge and Digital Lift programmes and wish them every success as they begin their new career journey.”

Catch22 has an organisational mission to tackle youth unemployment in the UK. Our ultimate mission is to drive structural and policy reform, creating the conditions for every young person to secure sustainable work. We take innovative programs like Digital Edge and find ways to scale impact through government influence and partnership.