Software giant Microsoft has opened a Manchester office in partnership with the University Academy 92 (UA92).

There is a high demand for office space in Manchester, but one issue that companies that occupy these offices face, is the difficulty of recruiting people with high digital skills.

Microsoft and UA92 are developing computer science courses in a plan to bridge the UK skills gap. Cindy Rose, the Chief Executive of Microsoft UK said at the opening of the new Manchester office:

“UA92’s purpose to nurture talent and ambition is closely aligned with Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more, as well as our goal to close the digital skills gap across the UK.”

Manchester has a vibrant digital sector with many tech startups in need of skilled employees. There are over 62,000 digital jobs in Manchester, generating over £2.9bn in revenue for the region.

The Microsoft and UA92 partnership are holding weekly training for all University of Manchester students and staff on the digital sharing platform Microsoft Teams. They plan to develop digital apprenticeship schemes and are working with local employers to develop Computer Science degree courses that train students in the skills needed by modern industries.

Manchester is an excellent business location because of the availability of premium office space, a vibrant city social life and good accommodation. It has a skilled workforce too, and Microsoft and AC92 want to make sure that local businesses can always find staff with up-to-date digital skills.