Thursday, 27 June 2013

Record haul for Firebrand at the Microsoft Apprentice Awards


Microsoft hosted the annual IT Apprentice of the Year awards at the House of Commons this week. Apprentices from Firebrand’s scheme picked-up three awards – Apprentice Employer of the Year, plus runner-up and an honourable mention in the headline Apprentice of the Year category.

Some of the nominated apprentices with Charlotte Preece, Firebrand’s Apprentice Assessor

Signalling the importance of apprenticeships to the economy and the IT sector, the ceremony was attended by several government ministers, MPs and Microsoft directors. Hugh Milward, Director of Corporate Affairs at Microsoft, explained: “There is a huge wealth of talent here in the UK and it’s really important to celebrate the achievements of these apprentices. The great news is that these young people are now firmly on the career ladder; 93% 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.
The Microsoft apprenticeship programme is part of the company’s Get On programme, which aims to help 300,000 British 16-24 year olds into work by 2015. Microsoft is partnering with Firebrand and 30,000 IT businesses across the UK to help achieve this.

Three happy apprentices

Ten Firebrand apprentices were shortlisted for awards, from a pool of hundreds across the country. Here are the three winners:

Apprentice Employer of the Year

 - Winner: Adatis (Tom Davis)

Apprentice of the Year

 - Runner-up: Billie Elliott, employed by Hull Trinity House Academy

 - Honourable mention: Charlotte Allen, Chorus

Tom Davis
Charlotte Allan
Billie Elliott, runner-up for Apprentice of the Year, was given her award by the Minister of State for Employment. She said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time at Trinity House Academy so far and I’m 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 and Trinity House Academy for giving me this opportunity.”

Billie was recognised for her hard work throughout the apprenticeship, and for her consistently-high level of resourcefulness and maturity. While her manager was unavailable for work for a six-week period, she worked hard to improve her knowledge and skills, whilst also having the sole responsibility for maintaining the academy’s IT network.

If you’re interested in employing an apprentice – or maybe becoming an apprentice yourself – visit the Firebrand Apprenticeships website.

About the Author:
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.