Microsoft’s apprentice programme combats youth unemployment

Microsoft crowns winner of Modern Apprentice of the Year award

Microsoft has crowned Daniel Morrison as the winner of its Modern Apprentice of the Year award.

The ceremony took place in Scottish Parliament, where the 21-year-old scooped the accolade.

Morrison currently works for Lockheed Martin in Glasgow, and was picked from hundreds of other apprentices who were backed by Microsoft and employed by its partner businesses.

Morrison said: “It’s amazing – I didn’t really expect it but I’m so delighted. The company’s been really good to me and it’s an amazing place to work.

“Apprenticeships are a great way to earn experience; by the time I got to my training courses with QA I’d worked out all the basics – you learn so fast when you’re actually doing the job.”

Morrison first joined the company as an apprentice software developer 18 months ago.

Stephen Ball, chief executive at Lockheed Martin UK, added: “His success and title of Microsoft Modern Apprentice of the Year is well deserved and the result of a lot of hard work, determination and commitment.

“Daniel demonstrates the benefits that apprenticeships can bring not only to businesses but to individuals too.”

The Microsoft Apprenticeship Programme is in partnership with training providers QA and YouTrain, and was developed in a bid to tackle youth unemployment by providing relevant training and skills.

The Modern Apprentice of the Year competition also recognises employers, who are nominated by their apprentices for providing outstanding support throughout the scheme.

Standard Life was the successful recipient of the Apprentice Employer Award. In its first year taking part in the apprenticeship programme, Standard Life has taken on nine young people in total and provided each one with a clear development path.

Katrina Ryder from Standard Life said: “It’s absolutely fantastic and so unexpected. We were delighted to win in the Enterprise Category and I didn’t even think about being Overall winner – it’s a great achievement and recognition for all the work that everybody had contributed, the buy in we’ve had in Standard Life from all the managers, coaches and mentors." 

Chris Forrest, Director at Microsoft Scotland, added: “Apprenticeships play a vital role in giving young people that all-important first step onto the career ladder. 93 pr cent of Microsoft apprentices stay with our partner businesses and move into a fully qualified role and today is about celebrating the wealth of young talent that we have here in Scotland." 

Microsoft developed its Modern Apprenticeship activity to help businesses in Scotland access talent to build their businesses, and as a way for local young people to gain IT skills and long term employment.

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