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Over the last couple of months, Micro Focus UK employees swapped the virtual office for the virtual classroom as they helped lead several interactive Hi-Tech Horizons workshops – reaching almost 1,000 secondary school students – to discuss careers in technology and the importance of digital skills, specifically around cybersecurity and staying safe online.
At the start of the year, through Micro Focus INSPIRE, our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, Micro Focus pledged our commitment to help reach 50,000 students over the next five years by joining Education Business Partnership (EBP)’s Hi-Tech Horizons programme.
Hi-Tech Horizons brings hi-tech businesses into local schools across the Thames Valley area in the UK at critical times in students’ academic careers to showcase professional opportunities they might not have considered, or even know exist. The program aims to positively impact the area’s future workforce and address the skills shortages we require both as a country and a company.
During the workshops, titled Staying Safe Online, employee volunteers spoke to students about how companies stay safe online and how Micro Focus helps its customers keep their businesses secure in today’s digital world. Then, in a live video panel discussion via Teams, several employee volunteers discussed their careers and gave students insights into what it’s like to work for a tech company.
Sarah Atkinson, CSR Director, Micro Focus, said: “We introduced our partnership with Hi-Tech Horizons in February 2020 as part of Micro Focus INSPIRE to further drive our commitment to help equip communities with the skills to thrive in the digital future. As a result of COVID-19, the program was redesigned to be delivered virtually and I am delighted our virtual workshops have been a great success with positive feedback received from students and teachers.”
Michelle Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Education Business Partnership, Thames Valley, said: “We are hugely impressed at the adaptability Micro Focus has shown, in rapid time, to work with us and the schools to convert the Hi-Tech Horizons and their INSPIRE content to a virtual delivery model. We’ve seen a number of these sessions run successfully within local schools, receiving much positive feedback and with more still to come!
We simply couldn’t achieve any of our goals without our valued partners and we are incredibly grateful to all of our Hi-Tech Horizon sponsors, without whom the programme would not be possible. We would also like to recognise our partner schools, the uptake of the virtual Hi-Tech Horizons workshops has blown us away with schools and colleges showing tremendous adaptability to enable live online sessions to take place to ensure students don’t miss out.
EBP’s mission is to ‘unite education and business to inspire and equip our future workforce for tomorrow’s workplace’ and giving students across our region the chance to engage and interact with leading-edge employers is fundamental in achieving our mission. Such opportunities have never been needed more than at the present time when our young people face so much uncertainty due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Micro Focus has been a key player in making this possible. It’s upbeat and engaging business volunteers have brought the virtual sessions to life.”