Microsoft to deliver digital skills in the West Midlands

Microsoft and Airbnb, have revealed plans to invest in the long-term economic legacy of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Tech giant Microsoft is set to work with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to deliver digital skills to the region and will invest financially.

The multi-year initiative aims to build on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games, the WMCA’s digital skills bootcamp offer and Microsoft’s ‘On’ campaign to help 1.5 million people in the UK to build a career in technology.

The announcement made on ‘Legacy Day’ was joined by Airbnb, revealing it will invest £500,000 into the region, to be used on cultural projects with the West Midlands Growth Company.

Legacy Day marked the conclusion of an eight-day programme of trade and investment talks taking place alongside the Games, brokering new partnerships for sustainable growth.

Speakers at Legacy Day explored the early benefits of the Business and Tourism Programme (BATP), the first programme of its kind established to boost the economic impact of the Commonwealth Games.

The three-year programme is designed to catalyse tourism, investment, events and exports surrounding the West Midlands and has so far beaten its target for attracting inward-investment derived jobs by three times, and has seen 28 new bookable tourism products developed.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “This summer’s spectacular Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games must represent a starting point and not a finish line in the rebirth of our region if we are to make the most of this moment of collective celebration.

“I want to see these Games go on to deliver a lasting legacy for the people of the West Midlands for generations to come. 

“The Business and Tourism Programme was always an integral part of that agenda and I’m delighted that it has been a resounding success – in terms of major events held, media coverage secured and investments won. We have seen a three times increase in our pipeline of business and inward investment leads”.

Nigel Huddleston, Minister for the Commonwealth Games, said: “Birmingham 2022 has shone a global spotlight on the West Midlands. Staging major events like the Commonwealth Games can help deliver a strong economic boost to their host countries and regions, injecting new life into communities and creating a huge, powerful feeling of pride in place.

With continued support, close collaboration and the legacy strategy that is in place, we’re confident that these Games will prove transformational for Birmingham and the West Midlands in the months and years that follow”.