Microsoft has held an awards ceremony to recognise the achievements of the hundreds of channel apprentices appointed through its dedicated scheme.
Of all the apprentices employed by Microsoft partner businesses, Jamie Sauvarin (pictured centre), who works at BrightStarr in Eashing, won the 2013 Apprentice of the Year accolade, and was presented with his award by Mark Hoban, minister of state for employment.
The Microsoft apprenticeship programme is part of the company’s commitment to provide relevant training and skills to young people in the UK to help them get a leg-up in the workplace.
Microsoft partners with training providers Remit IT Academy, QA, Firebrand and Baltic, plus 30,000 IT businesses across the UK. Through its Get On programme, a development from its BritainWorks initiative launched in 2009, the software giant is aiming to help 300,000 British 16 to 24-year olds into work by 2015.
Microsoft’s awards also recognised the support provided by its partner network of businesses and training providers.
Sauvarin, who was nominated by his employer for the award, said: “I have really enjoyed my time at BrightStarr so far and I am so happy to have won this award. My apprenticeship has made me even keener to work in IT and has given me a chance to get the skills I need to do that. I would like to say thank you to Microsoft, BrightStarr and Remit for giving me this opportunity.”
Hugh Milward, director of corporate affairs at Microsoft, said: “There is a huge wealth of talent here in the UK and it is really important to celebrate the achievements of these apprentices, who have developed their skills and started an apprenticeship during tough economic times.
“The great news is that these young people are now firmly on the career ladder; 93 per cent of Microsoft apprentices stay with our partner businesses and move into a fully qualified role. These awards recognise their hard work, determination and achievements so far, which will stand them in good stead for a successful career in IT and will help maintain the talent pipeline we have in the UK.”
Mark Hoban added: “This government is committed to ensuring our young people are given the best chance to get on in life – that is why we set up the Youth Contract: a scheme that will offer 500,000 opportunities to young people over three years. In order for the scheme to work we rely on businesses such as Microsoft opening their doors to aspirational young people; giving them the opportunity to gain the skills and training they need to get into work.
"It’s great to be here today to celebrate the achievements of these apprentices at a very exciting time in their careers.”
List of winners
Apprentice of the Year
Winner: Jamie Sauvarin from BrightStarr ltd
Runner-up: Billie Eliott from Hull Trinity House Academy
Runner-up: Joshua from eCourier
Honourable mention: Charlotte from Chorus
IT Apprentice Employer of the Year
Runner-up: Software ONE
Honourable mention: TSG
Honourable mention: Pyranet UK Ltd
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany