IT firms offer up 600 volunteers to promote IT as valid career choice

M&S, Microsoft, Cognizant, SAP and more supply volunteers for local community projects

An army of 600 employees from M&S, Microsoft, Cognizant, SAP and more have volunteered to help with local community projects and inspire young people considering a career in IT.

RDC, ReThink, Logicalis and Tata Consultancy Services are also involved in the volunteering scheme, which will take place on November 19.

Projects taking place will include M&S and Tata Consultancy Services visiting 15 schools to inspire young people considering IT as a career option.  The companies organised 110 IT executives to train as STEM Ambassadors by charity STEMNET.

The charity Mosaic will also team up with the volunteers to help develop young people from deprived backgrounds, through sharing workplace skills to boost confidence and promote long-term employability.

Recruitment firm Rethink will help 200 Abbeyfield care home residents to ‘reconnect with their pasts'. The residents will have the chance to use platforms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter on laptops to research their past and learn online skills.

Cognizant and SAP, in association with The Prince’s Trust have organised an event in which 10,000 trees will be planted in Heartwood Forest with the Woodland Trust. The aim is to create a new woodland area for the people of St Albans, in addition to offsetting the carbon emissions generated by the M&S IT team in Stockley Park.

M&S will also be involved in collecting hundreds of laptops for recycling, in support of good causes.

Darrell Stein, CIO of Marks & Spencer said: “More so than ever before, IT can inspire both young and old and we intend to use this power to support local communities and make a difference where it matters. At the same time we hope to motivate our own people and our suppliers by making the 19 November one of the most important days in our calendar.

“But it’s not only about one day. There are activities going on that will leave a legacy of IT equipment and support where it is needed most as we make our contribution to M&S’s eco and ethical programme.”

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