Microsoft has joined forces with UK Youth to open 30 "Microsoft Youth Hubs" around the country.
Choosing to mark its 30th anniversary through teaming up with a charity, Microsoft selected UK Youth to build on its existing training and apprenticeships schemes which aim to reach some of the country’s most disadvantaged young people.
From September the software giant will adopt 30 youth clubs across the UK providing each with a "technology makeover" and a mentor.
In addition to supporting these 30 Microsoft Youth Hubs, the supplier will provide training, work experience and apprenticeships for all UK Youth members around the country. Each hub will be run by a group of young people who will be taught IT management skills.
Within each hub, three selected young people will be trained to champion IT with support from a specially trained youth worker. The selected youth worker will be trained by a Microsoft volunteer.
Charlotte Hill, chief executive at UK Youth said lots of learning takes place beyond mainstream school and it is this vital, informal activity the charity focuses on.
“This programme is a fantastic and timely addition to our work," said Hill.
“We want to ensure that as many young people in our network as possible are able to progress in the digital age, especially those who have limited access to IT.
"No business is better placed to help us do this than Microsoft."
This partnership follows on from Microsoft’s Britain Works campaign, which was launched to support 500,000 people move into work by the end of 2012.
The Britain Works campaign focuses on offering training, apprenticeships and work experience. So far it has helped 420,000 people, most between the ages of 16 and 24.
Neil Thompson, general manager of consumer channels at Microsoft said: “Microsoft already works with young people in schools, training and through our apprenticeship and work experience programmes, but for those who have fallen away from formal education, we felt we could do more.
“UK Youth does an outstanding job of helping these individuals by providing informal learning opportunities and we’re looking forward to working with them to help make a difference.”
For youth clubs that would like to get involved in this project, Microsoft and UK Youth will be calling for applications from September.