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A fourth industrial revolution is under way – driven by the transformative power of cloud technologies. We’re doing our part to help manage the change, by supporting the UK digital economy with our Digital Skills programme. Working together with our partners, customers, and training providers, we collectively grow and empower new talent through the Microsoft Apprenticeship Programme.

The UK faces a ‘Digital Deficit’.

80 percent of the IT leaders we surveyed said cloud skills are important for digital transformation, but 38 percent of those trying to recruit have struggled to find the right skills.

Just 23 percent of the Generation X workers recently surveyed by Barclays were confident they could keep up with technology in the workplace.

Microsoft Apprenticeships are a great way for the UK to fill the digital skills gap and for businesses to build their talent pipeline and invest in the future of their workforce. Apprentices are a great opportunity for young people to develop the skills they need to succeed in the future of work through hands-on learning. They’re good for businesses and the UK economy too. With an ever-growing digital skills gap, there’s never been a better time to invest in the workforce of the future.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is often seen as a great alternative route to university, for students to embark their first steps into a career. They combine online and classroom based learning with a real job that provides hands-on experience and helps the apprentice put their learnings into practice.

Microsoft Apprenticeships are designed for both partners and customers and cover a wide range of roles and requirements. They cater for a range of educational stages, including ones that are equivalent to A-Levels and even Degree level qualifications. Which means you can hire an apprentice based on the skills you need to help your business succeed. They’re available for school leavers, graduates, and those returning to work after a career break. You could even use them as a way to up-skill existing employees to take on new roles which could be a great way to keep your teams motivated and increase employee retention.

All Microsoft programmes comply with UK government frameworks and standards and attract government funding. The relevant Microsoft certification paths are embedded in each occupational area along with wider tech, digital, and business learning.

Female worker onboarding a young girl as part of her apprenticeship programme

Why should you hire a Microsoft apprentice?

Microsoft Apprenticeships are designed by and for Microsoft partners and customers. Since the programme began in 2010, nearly 20,000 people have gained qualifications so you can be confident that the programme has been tried and tested.

Apprentices cater for all levels so you can hire the talent that you need in your business. Apprentices are given top quality training delivered by our training provides and get real ICT experience backed by industry recognised qualifications including MCSE, MCSA, MTA, and MOS.

How Microsoft Apprenticeships help your business grow:

An effective response to the digital skills gap is to grow and nurture the skills you need within your own business. Microsoft Apprenticeships help you do exactly that. They cover the most in-demand roles and requirements, and they’re suitable for school-leavers, graduates, and existing staff.

92% of apprentices stay on with the company they started with.

Our network of trusted providers organise placements, facilitate offsite training, arrange assessments, and provide mentoring.

Learning is based on ‘standards’ developed by industry and recognised by Government. Each standard sets out what the apprentices will do, the skills involved, and how candidates will be assessed. This is a minimum framework – providers are free to add content and broaden the experience offered.

Each programme includes a core Microsoft Certification Path, and higher level courses can also lead to an HND, degree, or postgraduate study.

Invest in the future of your workforce with an apprenticeship programme

In order for us to work together in closing the skills gaps, we feel apprenticeships are one of the areas that can make an impact. So if you’re currently looking for new employees, review the gap in your organisation. See if it could be suitable for an apprentice. Then, choose a programme which fits the skill sets required and work with one of our apprenticeship providers to help you find the right talent.

Find out more

How to deliver a successful apprenticeship programme – learnings from our our journey

Choosing an apprenticeship as a route into the working world

About the authorHeadshot of Liz Penning.

Liz Penning is our Partner Skills Lead, within Partner Business and Development in One Commercial Partner UK. Her role is focused on setting the UK strategy for Partner learning and executing on this. This can be anything from working on training events such as workshops, hacks and hands on labs, all the way to landing new programmes, such as the Partner Skills Initiative, to working on plans with our Partners to help grow a continuous learning culture. Liz also leads the Apply section of our Digital Skills Programme, which focuses on Apprenticeships for Partners and Customers.

Having been at Microsoft for nine years, she has a lot of experience working with our network of Partners. Over that time, there has been one consistent message, which is the lack of skills within the market. Skills have a direct correlation to the growth of our Partners and Customers businesses and if we can help provide them with the right resources and programmes to engage in learning and new talent, we will get that one step closer in closing the skills gap together. Liz is extremely passionate about Early in Career and diversity – there are many young people who need that extra help to realise their potential, regardless of their background or situation.