Posted on February 28, 2020 by staff

Microsoft opens Manchester base with UA92

Microsoft opens Manchester base with UA92

(L-R) Chris Perkins (GM Public Sector at Microsoft), Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester), Cindy Rose (Microsoft UK CEO), Craig Gaskell (UA92 CEO) and Derrick McCourt (GM Customer Success at Microsoft)
(L-R) Chris Perkins (GM Public Sector at Microsoft), Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester), Cindy Rose (Microsoft UK CEO), Craig Gaskell (UA92 CEO) and Derrick McCourt (GM Customer Success at Microsoft)

Microsoft has opened a new office space in the North West, as part of its partnership with Manchester’s new University Academy 92 (UA92).

Acting as a base for Microsoft to support customers and partners, the office will also see UA92 students interact with employees on a daily basis, working and studying in the same spaces.

The office is part of a long-term relationship between UA92 and Microsoft, who are working together to build and deliver computer science curricula. By teaming up, the two organisations are looking to help bridge the digital skills gap across the UK.

At the opening of Microsoft’s new office space, Cindy Rose, Chief Executive of Microsoft UK, said: “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.

“We are proud to play a role in both the educational and technology aspects of this unique initiative. It’s an exciting time for technology in Manchester. It has become a vibrant tech hub with a fantastic start-up community and a centre of gravity for Microsoft and our partners.”

The partnership has included training all staff and students on how to make the most of Microsoft Teams and a digital learning day for students every Wednesday, while future plans include collaborations on digital apprenticeships and the development of digital skills in the surrounding area.

With more than 170 Microsoft employees based in the region, the office will provide a new facility, allowing them to host and better support customers and the company’s 800 partners in the area. In having businesses work from the UA92 campus, Craig Gaskell, Principal and CEO of UA92, anticipates students will benefit from interacting with industry professionals.

He said: “The fact that we’re co-located with Microsoft here on our campus means that there are daily informal interactions between students and the company. They’re operating in the professional world and the digital world together. Microsoft are also supporting in the co-design of curricula across business, media and sport as well as helping us understand how we operate as an organisation ourselves.”