This week, Microsoft’s annual Apprenticeship of the Year competition has crowned 20 year old Lucy Muldoon, who works at Nomura Holdings in London, as overall winner for 2016.
Beating 114 other hopefuls to take the top spot, Lucy entered the competition in the ‘Apprentice in Support role’ category, which she also won. Her win was celebrated during a ceremony at Microsoft’s headquarters in Reading on 10th August.
The Apprentice of the Year Awards form part of Microsoft’s Partner Apprenticeship programme, launched in 2010 to provide a more viable way for businesses to hire talented individuals with relevant skills. The scheme offers young people across the country the opportunity to combine hands-on work experience within one of Microsoft’s partner businesses, gaining vital Microsoft-certified qualifications at the same time.
Over the last six years, an increasing number of Microsoft’s partner businesses have joined the programme, and now over 11,000 technology apprenticeships have been snapped up by 7,500 businesses across the UK.
Lucy was awarded the prize in recognition of her contribution to the IT Desktop Support team at Nomura since joining in October 2014. As a result of her exceptional performance, Lucy has been leading the HR Graduate & Intern training programmes, is an apprentice ambassador for learning provider QA and Nomura, and she attends fairs and events to encourage other young people into apprenticeships and the tech industry. Commenting on her win, Lucy said:“The apprenticeship programme has allowed me to gain real life IT experience, along with developing technical and personal skills with fellow IT professionals.”
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, who attended the awards ceremony said: “The Government has placed at the heart of its agenda a commitment to improving the life chances of young people so that everyone has the opportunity to get on in life. That’s why I am so supportive of apprenticeship programmes like Microsoft’s, which provide people with the chance to learn a valuable skill while earning at the same time.”
Microsoft’s UK Managing Director Michel Van der Bel comments: “Over 4,500 apprentices have started their careers in technology through our apprenticeship programme. Apprenticeships provide a valuable entry route into technology for new talent, expanding the technology workforce in the UK and helping to address a critical skills shortage currently being faced by many British businesses and organisations. “
The ceremony also champions Apprentice Employers and Delta Financial Systems scooped the top prize for 2016 for their continued investment in their apprentices, some of whom have now been promoted to line management positions. A recent report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee found that the digital skills gap costs the UK economy £63bn a year and apprenticeships are seen as an effective way to skill up workers to help combat this issue.
Read more at http://news.microsoft.com/en-gb/2016/08/12/won-apprentice-year-2016/#F0sSteckS3J4Ylfc.99