Microsoft to help 500,000 into work

Computer giant Microsoft has launched a campaign to help 500,000 people into work by 2012 with the help of a former Government minister who has described the rising levels of unemployment as "frightening".

Microsoft said it would work with other organisations and local government to deliver its "ambitious" target through a combination of apprenticeships, training and a new job matching service.

Gordon Frazer, managing director of Microsoft UK said: "The last 12 months have been disastrous for many individuals, families and businesses throughout Britain."

And he added: "The Government has invested where it can but in reality there's only so much it can do. That's why I asked my team to look at ways we can make a difference as a business.

"Today represents the start of a nationwide programme, which I hope will have a real impact at grassroots level across the UK."

Former government trade minister Lord Digby Jones backed the announcement, adding: "Next week, we are expecting the number of people unemployed to top 2.5 million for the first time since 1995. That's a frightening prospect, but I also know that there are thousands of people who do not have the appropriate skills that businesses need in today's IT-led economy.

"Businesses still need these people, and so a significant part of this campaign will focus on making skills for business training vouchers available to people who want to give themselves an extra chance when going for interviews."

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soucre: Press association

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