Microsoft is launching an online apprenticeship platform that will connect more jobseekers with companies who need apprentices. The Microsoft Apprenticeship Connector is a partnership between GetMyFirstJob and Microsoft which aims to simplify the apprenticeship process by listing vacancies across Microsoft’s network of partners and customers. The Connector also helps Microsoft’s partners and customers promote their apprentice vacancies to a larger and more diverse range of candidates.
Platform partner GetMyFirstJob recognised that traditional recruitment processes were exacerbating barriers to social mobility. It created an online solution to connect people with opportunities via alternative career pathways, helping place three candidates every hour and reaching more than 4.1m people in 2020.
“Digital apprenticeships are one of the best routes to well-paid careers in businesses of all types, not just in tech. It’s why we have worked hard over the past 10 years to help provide thousands of people with the skills and training needed for the in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Clare Barclay, CEO, Microsoft UK. “Yet even in the current jobs market, the reality is there are many vacancies going unfilled. I encourage anyone thinking about getting started in digital to visit The Microsoft Apprenticeship Connector and take the next step.”
Almost half of UK firms are looking to recruit tech workers and those roles require the same technical skills – data analytics, AI and cyber security – regardless of the company or sector. Microsoft predicts that the UK will have the capacity for another three million tech jobs by 2025. While overall apprenticeship starts declined by around 16% year on year, digital remained flat, with starts outperforming the market trend April through to June 2020.
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer has also expressed his support for the launch of this initiative, stressing the importance and role of apprenticeships as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs.“We know that apprenticeships work and I’m committed to creating more opportunities as part of our Plan for Jobs,” he has said. In the recent Budget Sunak doubled the cash incentive for employers to hire apprentices and introduced a new flexi-job apprenticeship programme that will enable apprentices to work with a number of different employers in one sector.
“It’s great to see Microsoft using their technology expertise to make it easier for people to engage with these fantastic opportunities,” he comments. “As the world becomes increasingly more digital, these skills will play a crucial role in helping us build back better from the pandemic.”