Microsoft and Tech South West announce collaboration to help upskill the region

A new collaboration has been announced between Tech South West and Microsoft in a bid to enhance digital skills in the region.

The project will provide South West tech companies with opportunities to access training for their teams and develop technical skills within their organisations. Support will also be provided for those looking to switch to a career in tech, or grow their tech business via the Tech South West StartUp and ScaleUp Studios.

Research conducted this year by Tech South West revealed that 55% of tech companies in the region cite “lack of candidates” as their biggest barrier to recruitment, while 60% say “candidates lacking relevant skills” is one of their top three obstacles to growth.

With the South West tech sector projected to reach almost £20bn gross value added (GVA) a year by 2026, and create more than 125,000 new jobs, supporting the provision of skills within the region will be paramount to ensuring that the sector achieves its full potential.

Dan Pritchard, co-founder of Tech South West, said: “A skilled community is the engine behind any successful tech ecosystem, and tech – as a booming, high-value and economically resilient industry – is fast becoming the backbone of the South West economy.

“We are delighted to be working with Microsoft to roll out training and support programmes for South West tech firms, helping them to upskill their teams, tap into new talent pipelines, and grow.”

The collaboration will bolster Tech South West’s mission to boost digital skills and inward investment into the region, and support Microsoft’s campaign to help 1.5 million people launch a career in tech.

Richard Ellis, General Manager of Microsoft’s Small, Medium & Corporate Customer Segment, said: “We’re working with Tech South West to make sure that all businesses in the region can learn how Microsoft can support them in helping identify new opportunities.

“We will provide these organisations with free virtual training, mentoring from Microsoft experts, technical accelerated training and certification in partnership with Firebrand Training, one of our largest training partners.

“We look forward to meeting Tech South West members at upcoming events and starting a conversation as to how we can help their businesses to grow.”

Businesses are invited to visit to learn more about the collaboration, and to sign up for free training events.

From October 10-14, Tech South West will be delivering a series of free events as part of Bristol Tech Festival, including workshops on attracting and retaining talent, networking with investors, support for scaleups and a showcase of innovation in the region. Sign up at


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