Technology company Microsoft has signed a new pledge to support the development of digital skills for military veterans when they leave active service.
The company became one of the largest in the world to sign the UK government’s Armed Forces Covenant, which aims to significantly improve the socio-economic conditions and opportunities available to those who serve or have served in the country’s military. By signing the agreement at its headquarters in Reading, UK, Microsoft has made a number of commitments, including to improve education in digital skills for military veterans in order to prepare them for new career opportunities, and to offer employees who are serving in the reserves flexible working hours, so that they can undertake annual reserve training.
What has Microsoft agreed to?
The commitments that the international tech giant has made to increase support for military personnel will also mean:
- Microsoft will match donations to military charities made by staff, and raise funds for the Royal British Legion;
- Military personnel will be offered a 10% discount on Microsoft products; and
- Managers will be encouraged to interview every qualified veteran who applies for a position in the company.
Microsoft has joined more than 2,500 businesses operating throughout the UK which have now signed the Armed Forces Covenant, as part of the UK government’s overall aim of improving the lives of military personnel when they leave active service.
How did the government respond?
For UK Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster, Microsoft’s signing of the covenant “demonstrates the support businesses have for our military personnel”. He added: “We are continuously building on our cyber capabilities to ensure we are countering ever intensifying threats. It is companies like Microsoft that we look to support and develop our reservists to ensure we remain at the cutting edge.”
Meanwhile, Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood welcomed the improvements that could be made to the lives of people no longer serving in the military, saying: “I’m delighted that a world-leading company like Microsoft… wants [veterans] in their workforce. The pledges they have committed to will make a real difference for veterans looking to develop their tech skills.”