Microsoft launchpad for a career in ITBy David Millward
April 05, 2011
Young people looking to get into the IT industry could get a leg up from one of the sector’s biggest names through the Reading Job Fair.
Microsoft will be offering 32 jobseekers the chance to take part in its apprenticeship programme which could lead to jobs with some of the small local businesses the corporation works with.
Stephen Uden, head of skills and economic affairs at the Microsoft Thames Valley Park campus, said he was hoping for a good turn-out.
He said: “The IT industry is one of the sectors in the UK economy which is still growing and we work with thousands of small companies in the Thames Valley who are looking to take people on but struggle to find the right people.
“We have put together an apprenticeship programme usually for school leavers or unemployed youngsters.”
The IT giant currently has 450 people on the programme across the country and it is preparing for a new intake in Reading.
Those who successfully complete the 12-month programme will receive a Microsoft and a City and Guilds qualification.
Microsoft will then act as a conduit between the small companies looking for IT staff and the individuals who have completed their apprenticeship.
Mr Uden said: “A lot of people think that to work in IT you have to got to be a Bill Gates or a rocket scientist but all you need is five GCSEs and the programme will give full training.
“We are hoping some of the people coming to the job fair will see this as an opportunity.
“A lot will think, how on earth do I get into IT and this gives them a way to get in through the door and then, once you are in, there’s lots of opportunities.”