Microsoft is to become an official European partner for the CoderDojo Foundation and movement.

The aim of this new collaboration is to support the CoderDojo movement across the region and to further encourage young people to learn to code. Microsoft has pledged its support to the CoderDojo Foundation as part of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative, a global, company-wide initiative that aims to improve education, employability and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people worldwide.

“In addition to the corporate grant Microsoft will be providing we are also ambitious about how our employee base can support the growth of the CoderDojo movement,” said Microsoft Ireland managing director, Cathriona Hallahan. “In Ireland there is currently over 4,500 job vacancies in the ICT sector. Ensuring we educate our youth with the skills to work in these roles is essential. CoderDojo plays an important role in this regard and together we want to encourage every young person across Europe the opportunity to discover their digital potential and gain access to a CoderDojo club.”

The support that Microsoft is providing to CoderDojo across Europe will enable the community to grow and to reach more kids and young people, enabling them to develop technology, innovation and entrepreneurial skills,” said CoderDojo Foundation CEO, Mary Moloney. “As an organisation with such a strong portfolio of great technology products and with a talented workforce of skilled technologists, Microsoft is well positioned to support new and existing dojos all over Europe.”

As part of the partnership, Microsoft will work at a European-level to promote CoderDojo and to encourage and support the creation of new dojos across the region. CoderDojo will also be able to tap into Microsoft’s more than 25,000 employees across Europe as mentors who will support existing dojos and facilitate in the establishment and hosting of new dojos.

The company will also provide European CoderDojos with access to its DreamSpark programme, which will allow them to use Microsoft software for learning, teaching and research purposes at no charge.

Microsoft will be a platinum partner at the upcoming Coder Dojo Coolest Projects Competition, the largest coding competition for kids globally, taking place in the RDS, Dublin on 13 June.

Microsoft Ireland has been hosting a Coder Dojo club for over three years, and will act as a showcase to other Microsoft locations throughout Europe.

The Microsoft grant will enable the CoderDojo Foundation to specifically focus on: increasing the amount of content available to volunteers to help them to facilitate Dojo sessions; developing short training videos for mentors and champions; and developing ‘The CoderDojo Experience’ video content.

CoderDojo currently has 650 dojos operating in 57 countries, reaching 30,000 young people regularly.