Olivier Le Moal - Fotolia
Apprenticeships are firmly on the channel agenda with Microsoft banging the drum over the issue and others in the channel putting their shoulder to the wheel to launch their own schemes.
Microsoft chose a visit by the chancellor Philip Hammond to its Reading HQ to commit to creating 30,000 digital apprenticeship roles, as well as training half a million people to be cloud experts.
The firm has been backing young apprentices for 15 years, working with more than 700,000 people who have gained skills and found jobs in the industry.
“In the wake of the EU referendum vote, the UK is looking at charting a new and different path to its future. Microsoft is committed, as it has been for more than thirty years, to helping the UK realise its full potential,” said Microsoft’s UK CEO Cindy Rose.
“We believe maintaining the UK’s global competitiveness relies on a successful transition to a cloud-enabled economy. At Microsoft, we aim to do our part by investing back into the UK digital economy to ensure people of all ages and backgrounds are equipped with the skills necessary to thrive into the future.
“Microsoft sees digital apprenticeships as a vital tool to address the skills shortage in the UK and ensuring the UK’s competitive advantage. This is not just about the numbers of people acquiring these skills so necessary for the future, but attracting and supporting a diverse range of people.
“In particular, we will work hard to attract more women to these programmes. To do that, we encourage all organisations to do what they can to provide and support as many diverse UK apprenticeships as possible,” she added.
Plans were in place before Rose issued that clarion call, but one of the first to follow the Microsoft move with its own apprenticeship programme is managed services player CORETX.
The firm is opening its Croydon head office for candidates to come for an assessment day on 1 February 2017, and will then invite 10 young people to join its apprenticeship scheme.
The candidates will work with the MSP for a year and gain skills with a view to providing a platform to full time employment in the industry. Eight will work towards becoming infrastructure technicians and two will be on a path to be IT applications specialists at the firm's offices around the country in London, Reading and Manchester.
“I’m really looking forward to our assessment day. As a responsible employer, we’re committed to supporting young people in communities where we’re based by creating entry-level opportunities and teaching them the skills they need to succeed,” said Andy Ross, CEO of CORETX.
“To be selected for the scheme, candidates will need to demonstrate a positive attitude to life. Individuals who work with us must be enthusiastic about providing great customer service.
“The scheme itself will provide them with the technical skills they’ll need to work effectively in a technical environment. Through their own merit and the training we provide, they’ll be well on their way to developing a successful IT career,” he added.