Microsoft to set up 1,000 apprenticeships in London

Over the next three years, the software maker will help train jobseekers in tech support for its products, as part of the London mayor's drive to boost apprenticeships in the capital
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

Microsoft has plans to create 1,000 apprenticeships in London over the next three years, as part of a drive to boost training positions in the capital.

Microsoft apprenticeships London

Microsoft plans apprenticeships in London, as announced by mayor Boris Johnson. Photo credit: ThinkLondon

London mayor Boris Johnson announced the software maker's pledge on Monday, during an event that kicked off the London Apprenticeships Campaign. The drive aims to provide 20,000 opportunities for young people looking for work in the capital.

The Microsoft apprenticeships form part of the company's Britain Works programme, which launched in 2009 and aims to get "500,000 people back into work by 2012", Stephen Uden, the software maker's head of skills and economic affairs, said at the event.

The London positions are separate to the 4,000 apprenticeships unveiled by the software maker in January, which are expected to lead to full-time jobs, Uden told ZDNet UK.

The scheme has no explicit link to the government's drive to create a technology zone in London's east end, according to Uden. However, "the apprentices will be available to support new business development anywhere in the capital, including East London Tech City", he added.

The programme will enlist the help of Microsoft's 5,400 small and medium-sized enterprise IT partners across London. The software maker expects that some of these IT businesses will take on a young unemployed person as a technical support apprentice.

The individual will then receive training for an Advanced Apprenticeship (level 3) in technical support from Slough-based company QA, focusing on Microsoft technology.

Nationally, the software maker has begun training an initial batch of apprentices — 300 or so — with a focus on training them in technical support for Microsoft products. New lines of learning in technical sales and software development are also being tried out in pilot programmes, according to Uden.

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