Not only did two employers who work with the company on their apprentice programme, Hitachi and Pythagoras, receive recognition at the event, but 19-year-old apprentice Kimberley Bolton was named Apprentice of the Year.
“Becoming an IT apprentice is the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve gone from having no confidence and no IT knowledge to winning Microsoft Apprentice of the Year. I’ve really had to push myself and now it’s all paid off,” claimed Bolton – a junior support consultant at Pythagoras.
Besides an apprentice from the company receiving the best apprentice award, Pythagoras was also highly commended in the Medium Apprentice Employer of the Year category.
Meanwhile, Hitachi – another employer that runs Firebrand apprenticeships – was highly commended in the Large Apprentice Employer of the Year category.
Firebrand claims that the recognition it received at the Microsoft event is proof of its “growing success.” It adds that since its launch in 2012, its apprenticeship scheme has helped more than 100 young people pursue an IT career.
“Apprenticeships are incredibly important in helping young adults to develop skills in the workplace. [They are] hands-on and so much more about understanding what the working environment is all about,” claimed May.
It has been reported recently that there is a skills shortage in the IT sector – some believe apprenticeships in the area could help plug the gap, while others argue more women are needed.