Microsoft Will Provide AI Training To 1m People In The UK

As we enter a phase of rapid digital transformation, it’s essential that businesses and the general public are well equipped to move with the times. Artificial intelligence (AI) has made some major steps forward in the past few years, and it has enormous potential to grow economies and benefit society more widely.

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However, Microsoft reports that research conducted by YouGov revealed that over half (54%) of UK business leaders have concerns that a lack of skills among the workforce could hold back progress. Furthermore, only about a quarter of firms fully understand the potential uses of AI in their sector and have plans to recruit the right staff.

In response, Microsoft have launched a five-year initiative to expand its UK training programme, known as Get On. This scheme has already been used to train 1.1 million people in digital skills, and it will now be used to equip the workforce to become confident in harnessing the power of generative AI technology. 

Speaking at Microsoft’s Envision UK event, 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.”

She added: “Every job will soon be supported by AI and we need innovative people, with the right skills, to fill those jobs. 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.”

AI is already beginning to transform areas such as web design and development. For example, AI tools are now commonly used to personalise the user experience with recommendations and tailored interfaces that can boost conversion rates. It is also used to provide enhanced security measures and many other advanced design features.

The next few years could see even more exciting developments, such as the integration of virtual and augmented reality to create a fully immersive user experience. Advanced technologies could also bring convenient features such as biometric logins and voice user interfaces to assist with navigation and other online interactions. 

Luke Mckend, Senior Director, LinkedIn Talent Solutions, UK, says: “AI is accelerating workplace change, reshaping the skills needed for jobs and careers across industries. And 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.”

Microsoft will offer the first Professional Certificate on Generative AI, as well as tailored training programmes for technical specialists, decision makers and non-profit organisations. There will also be the opportunity for job seekers and upskillers to take part in self-guided online learning programmes and virtual training days.  

 

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