Kubrick announces a Gold Partnership with Microsoft as they collaborate in order to solve the growing skills gap threatening organisations in all sectors.
The digital skills emergency has firmly shifted from an unaddressed concept to an alarming reality in the minds of leaders across industries as they look to build talent pipelines capable of enabling their plans for transformation. However, it was no sudden phenomenon; in 2017 Microsoft UK’s then COO, and now CEO, Clare Barclay warned the New Statesman of a mounting divide between organisations who were investing in technology and those who were not: “The risk to the UK is that if we don’t embrace it, our level of competitiveness will fall,” she said. “Companies that are unwilling to change face new competitors who are more tech savvy.”
The technology giant embraced the message of the reported skills shortage and lack of investment from many UK businesses. Later that year, Microsoft UK’s then CEO Cindy Rose (now President of Microsoft Western Europe) declared that “technology companies have a responsibility to help address this problem” as the organisation embarked on a series of initiative to support businesses and groups who were grappling with the beginnings of technological transformation. However, despite the early warning signs of some years ago, the chasm has since expanded drastically as the culmination of 3 key factors:
1. Accelerating advancements
The evolution of technology has already outdated the skills gap reported by Microsoft in 2016. Their focus on the ‘basic’ ability to use digital resources for communication, managing information, creating content, and problem-solving are now standard expectations of technology users of all ages. The skills which are most needed, as predicted by Clare Barclay in 2017, are those which meet the technical requirements of data, AI, and cloud technology, as the areas which are driving transformation.
2. Digital transformation in the wake of COVID-19:
In June 2020, Microsoft pledged to help 25 million people worldwide acquire the skills needed to address a gap only widened by the economic repercussions of the pandemic. Soon after, Microsoft UK launched their 5-year plan to help 1.5 million people in the UK to build a career in technology: the Get On 2021 campaign. The importance of these initiatives is affirmed by Microsoft’s research which demonstrates that 80% of leaders believe investment in digital skills will be important to the UK’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
3. The gender skills gap
Microsoft’s pledge to address the global skills gap in June was also prefaced by their research on how women have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic and its economic fallout. This trend was already identifiable in the emerging ‘basic’ skills gap back in 2016 and is supported by a 2019 report from WISE, the national campaign for women in technology and STEM, which indicated that the proportion of female employees in the tech sector had plateaued at 16% since 2009.
Today, we announce our status as a Gold Partner of Microsoft in a collaborative effort to solve the digital skills crisis. The partnership marks an exciting opportunity for our organisations to unite the power of people and technology, helping businesses realise their potential to grow and succeed in challenging times. We train in the tools and solutions of Microsoft and our technology partners to embed expertly trained talent within the teams of our clients, allowing organisations to keep up with and harness the advantages of advancing technology. We also align with Microsoft’s commitment to addressing the gender skills gap in our aim to hire cohorts of consultants which are 40% female-identifying, who master the tools of our technology partners and unleash their full capabilities. By challenging gender biases in technology roles and pushing against the barriers that have existed for too long, we can create a workforce which accelerates transformation through diversity of thought and collaboration.
Jay Lockwood, Head of Channel Alliance, explores the significance of our partnership with Microsoft in addressing the ongoing and growing skills emergency:
“We are proud to be a Gold Partner of Microsoft in their commitment to tackling the digital skills gap. We understand the challenges facing businesses in all industries when embracing next-generation technology, including implementing cloud solutions such as Azure. These hurdles are holding back our economy and wider society, but with the right training and investment, organisations of all sizes can see a rapid return to stability and fast growth. Our technology partnerships allow us to certificate hundreds of consultants in the most sought-after tools to provide a sustainable solution to the skills crisis: we find today’s brilliant minds from all backgrounds and experiences and ensure they are expertly trained in the technology products which businesses need to transform.”
To learn more about our technology partnerships, our consultants and training syllabi, or how you can work with us, get in touch: