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Microsoft hunts for businesses to host IT apprentices on their training scheme, run at KCC's EIS building in Maidstone

17 March 2014
by Chris Price

Microsoft is looking for the next batch of companies to host IT apprentices in a scheme it is running with Kent County Council.

The first batch of recruits to complete the course with the multinational corporation are set to graduate next month.

In the first project of its kind in the country, the Washington-based company began working with KCC last year to deliver apprenticeships through its training provider QA.

IT apprentices learn all kinds of technical skills on the course with training provider QA

IT apprentices learn all kinds of technical skills on the course with training provider QA

The firm and the council are on the lookout for businesses to host the next group of apprentices, which will be trained at the EIS building in Maidstone.

Firms do not have to be involved in the IT industry – they only need to use Microsoft software and understand how it works.

Apprentices need only to have enthusiasm and commitment to a career in IT.

Training can be fully-funded by the government for 16 to 18-year-olds, while 19 to 23-year-olds is part-funded.

Apprentice Roberta Baah on the Microsoft Systems and Networking program

Apprentice Roberta Baah on the Microsoft Systems and Networking program

KCC Cabinet member for education Roger Gough said: “This scheme could be the perfect answer for businesses that need an extra pair of hands with their IT and are looking for an affordable solution.

“Bringing in a Microsoft specialist to help with IT can be immensely valuable, especially as so many businesses depend on their software.

"So, to be able to grow your business with its own in-house expertise could prove a great strength.

“And at the same time, it’s a chance to help one of Kent’s enthusiastic young people to start their journey on the career ladder.

IT apprentices on the Microsoft Systems and Networking program

IT apprentices on the Microsoft Systems and Networking program

"After all, an apprenticeship is more than just a glorified work experience placement. It’s about taking the first steps in a real, permanent job by learning while you work.”

The apprenticeship is Microsoft’s own scheme and delivers a level 3 qualification, which is an A-level equivalent as part of learning the IT trade.

To join the KM Group's Kick Start Kent campaign, email kickstartkent@thekmgroup.co.uk

To join the KM Group's Kick Start Kent campaign, email kickstartkent@thekmgroup.co.uk

The company recommends firms pay wages of about £150 a week.

The first batch on the Microsoft Systems and Networking program graduate at Oakwood House in Oakwood Park, Maidstone, on Wednesday, April 23.

Next cohort start their course on April 7, with the following group beginning their training in in September.

Details on 01753 898689 or email adrian.hackett@qa.com.

The KM Group – with partners IPS International, KATO and MidKent College – is looking for 100 businesses to hire an apprentice within the year.

For information about how an apprentice could benefit your business, email kickstartkent@thekmgroup.co.uk or visit www.KentBusiness.co.uk/KickStartKent

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