Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has launched Microsoft YouthSpark – an initiative to create opportunities for 300 million young people around the world over the next three years.
With many countries, including many major economies, struggling to generate economic growth under the burden of substantial private and public sector debt, there is a growing pool of underutilised or unemployed labour. In these circumstances young people, new to the workforce, face the particularly difficult challenge of finding work without experience or starting a business without capital.
In Australia, youth unemployment remains significantly higher than for the population as a whole. This fact is creating a growing opportunity divide between young people who have the access, skills and opportunities to be successful and those who do not.
Microsoft recognises that such a divide could create lasting social and economic isolation and disadvantage. In an age where information technology has become a fundamental pillar of opportunity for every society Microsoft believes it can and must invest in efforts to reduce the divide for as many young people as possible.
Watch Microsoft #YouthSpark launch at: http://bit.ly/U0Sq2a for more information on what the company is proposing. This is the launch of a program and I'll be able to announce some specific local initiatives for Australia in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
Microsoft Australia Community Affairs Manager