Microsoft to offer 10,000 Microsoft certification exams to Local Coalitions for Digital Jobs

Rome, Nov 5, 2013: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and TE Director Gabriel Rissola meet and sign the next cooperation steps between the two organisations

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer visited Italy earlier this month and met with Telecentre Europe Director Gabriel Rissola in the context of the Building a Vision event of Youth Spark in Rome. On the occasion, it was revealed that in partnership with Telecentre-Europe, Microsoft will give 10,000 young Europeans Microsoft certification exams free of charge to support unemployed youth in Europe, for a total market value of over 300,000 euros. The vouchers will be used to implement objectives of the TE led Local Coalitions for Digital Jobs in various European countries.

1000 of these vouchers, i.e. 10% of the total number, will be given to Fondazione Mondo Digitale, the partner of Telecentre-Europe in Italy, to help that number of young Italian jobseekers to obtain the ICT skills needed to take up the opportunities for “digital” work.

This bi-lateral cooperation is a part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark program and falls on the heels of a long-term collaboration between Microsoft and Telecentre-Europe to drive youth employability and help address the lack of skills in the workforce. The certifications will be delivered to youth through the Microsoft IT Academy program that has delivered over 1.4 million student certifications worldwide in the last 12 months.

“At Telecentre-Europe we are committed to making a significant contribution to fight the dramatic youth unemployment rates evident in many European countries. Thanks to our Local Coalitions for Digital Jobs initiative, we are already activating partnerships for digital skills and jobs with governments, enterprises and the civil society in 10 European countries. Microsoft’s donation of 10.000 certification  vouchers through its YouthSpark initiative will allow us to equip our local partnerships with a powerful tool to deliver our goals” – explained Gabriel Rissola, Managing Director, Telecentre-Europe.

Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft said:  “We are excited to empower youth around the globe with opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship though our YouthSpark program. In Italy alone, more than 25,000 students have been trained so far and we’re continuing to invest so thousands more young people can tap into the same opportunities.”