More than 2,500 StepIn2Tech learners have taken their first steps into tech | #education | #technology | #training

Thousands of people have signed up for digital skills courses with StepIn2Tech, a programme run by Microsoft Ireland and Fastrack into IT.

More than 2,500 people have registered for StepIn2Tech, a digital skills training programme that was launched four months ago by Microsoft Ireland with Fastrack to IT (FIT).

The programme aims to provide digital skills training to 10,000 people, with a particular focus on those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and those who have recently left school or college.

StepIn2Tech graduate David Kelly, who has recently completed the programme said: “I was working in a coffee shop when the pandemic hit and then I suddenly found myself at home with no job. I started to look into my options and discovered StepIn2Tech. Over the past couple of months, I’ve completed each of the learning pathways within the programme which included coding, cloud and digital marketing.”

Kelly’s new skills have enabled him to secure a place on a pre-tech apprenticeship with FIT, which he hopes will provide a stepping stone into a career in technology.

“I’m very excited to be on a new career pathway and am optimistic about what the future holds,” he said.

Kelly completed the StepIn2Tech programme from home and he was able to access guided mentoring and support, which he said was the best part of the course for him.

Peter Davitt, CEO, Fastrack to IT, said: “We were delighted to join forces with Microsoft Ireland to launch StepIn2Tech earlier this year. As a result of the pandemic, digital skills have become essential skills for a wide range of roles across multiple sectors.”

Davitt added that the pandemic had hastened the pace of digital transformation, and programmes like StepIn2Tech had a role to play in tackling the burgeoning digital skills gap that has emerged over the past 18 months.

StepIn2Tech is one of several initiatives Microsoft Ireland has developed as part of its Pathways for Life education and training programme, which is focused on empowering people from all walks of life to develop digital skills.

Microsoft is also co-operating with the Government on its Pathways to Work scheme, which is offering 50,000 places to people who wish to upskill to secure employment post-pandemic.

James O’Connor, vice president of Microsoft international operations, said: “We launched StepIn2Tech as a direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic with the goal of supporting an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery. The programme helps people to acquire the digital skills that are needed to secure employment in the digital economy but also to thrive in their existing roles that, because as a result of the past 18 months, may have been digitised.

O’Connor encouraged anyone, “whether early or mid-career or out of work” to avail of the StepIn2Tech programme. He said he was delighted to hear about some of the individual success stories from some of the people who have recently completed the programme, like Kelly.

Davitt of Fastrack to IT concluded: “StepIn2Tech has already resulted in positive learner outcomes, whereby some have chosen to pursue additional education and training opportunities and others have progressed on to apprenticeships or returned to employment. I’d like to encourage anyone who is interested in either developing their digital skills or considering a new career to register for free today to StepIn2Tech.”

For more information about StepIn2Tech or to register for the programme, see here.

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