A new scheme aiming to tackle UK youth unemployment and help improve the inclusion in the workplace of British youngsters has been launched by Microsoft.

The Get On scheme is a three-year programme which aims to help more than 300,000 16-24-year-olds take significant steps towards launching their careers through a combination of education and training, apprenticeships and work experience.

In particular, the scheme will focus on young people helping to develop the skills they need to succeed in a career in IT and technology, as well as help them find employment opportunities in these sectors once they have undergone the necessary training.

“In these difficult economic times, the best investment we can make is in our young people, to help them develop the skills and creativity they need to create our economic and social future,” commented Microsoft’s chief executive Steve Ballmer.

On the day of the scheme’s launch, Mr Ballmer made a visit to 10 Downing Street where he met with prime minister David Cameron to discuss how the company and the UK government can work together to boost employment rates among young people.

“To succeed in the global race, and boost the UK economy, it is vital that we give young people every opportunity to work hard and get on in life,” commented Mr Cameron.

“Microsoft’s Get On campaign is exactly the kind of support we need from business to inspire, provide skills, and create meaningful opportunities in the industries that will drive our economy forward in the future.”

As part of the Get On scheme, Microsoft will work with youth clubs, schools and IT academies to help increase young peoples’ access to computers and IT training.

It also plans to set up a programme offering university students a direct link to Microsoft’s business partners to help them find job opportunities.

This programme will take graduates interviewed but not hired by Microsoft and match them with jobs or internships in the technology industry within Microsoft’s 30,000 strong partner community.