Microsoft has committed to create 4,000 new jobs as part of its Britain Works programme, following a meeting with prime minister David Cameron.
Cameron held talks with several private sector organisations to encourage new jobs to be created in 2011 and beyond. Microsoft was the only technology sector company involved.
In a statement, Microsoft UK managing director Gordon Frazer said, "Microsoft's Britain Works does two things. Firstly it creates new jobs in the form of highly skilled apprenticeships and opportunities for entrepreneurs to start new businesses. Secondly it provides IT training to give people the right skills for existing vacancies.
Microsoft's Britain Works programme was launched in 2009 to provide professional training and certification.
"Microsoft's apprenticeships train unemployed young people from Job Centre Plus as technical support staff employed in our partner network, with support from the National Apprenticeship Service. In addition to the technical support apprenticeship, new technical sales and software development apprenticeships will launch in spring 2011," added Frazer.
Cameron said the creation of new jobs in the private sector was crucial to rebalancing the economy. "This year the government is determined to help deliver many thousands of new jobs and I'm delighted that the companies joining me today are part of that," he said in a statement.
Other private-sector organisations to pledge to create new jobs included Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.
Microsoft shed 5,000 jobs in 2009 after worse than expected financial results.