13 March 2014
Global technology giants Microsoft have backed a campaign to get
more young people into apprenticeships in Scotland.
Three young digital professionals whose training was supported
by Microsoft have joined Skills Development Scotland's Modern
Apprenticeship Ambassadors Programme.
The announcement was made by Minister for Youth Employment
Angela Constance as part of Make Young People Your Business digital
Microsoft has pledged to work with partners, customers and other
employers to recruit 2016 Modern Apprentices by 2016.
Microsoft Scotland Director Chris Forrest said: ''Microsoft's
partners and customers have already helped hundreds of young Scots
to gain employment through Modern Apprenticeships and we are in the
process of recruiting apprentices across many business
"We view apprenticeships as a critical component of the search
for talent and skills.
"Microsoft is committed to supporting Modern Apprentices and the
many businesses that back, train and develop their talent."
Ms Constance joined pupils from Ross High in Tranent during a
visit to Microsoft's Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh where they
met information and computer technologies apprentices.
Ms Constance said: "Angela Constance, Minister for Youth
"Throughout Make Young People Your Business digital skills week,
my consistent message to employers has been that recruiting young
women and men and growing your own talent is not just the right
thing for employers to do, it's the smart thing to do.
"The value of investing in young employees is backed up by
employer surveys which show that, when companies are asked why they
recruit young people, the top two reasons are growing our own
workforce and to build up a talent pipeline.
"In Scotland's £3 billion digital technologies sector, young
employees are also arguably more closely attuned to the target
marketing age group for many of the products and services.
"By signing up to the Modern Apprenticeship Ambassadors
Programme, it is clear that Microsoft recognise this.
"Their endorsement of the value that Modern Apprentices bring to
the workplace sets a fantastic example for other businesses in
Scotland to follow."
The Modern Apprenticeship Ambassadors programme is run by Skills
Development Scotland to promote the benefits apprenticeships bring
for young people and employers.
Apprentices Ryan Waddell, 18; Ailsa Quinn, 19 and Alan McMath,
20, are the latest recruits to the Ambassador programme.
Alan is a Modern Apprentice with NVT Group, working as an
Official Technology Services Integrator for Glasgow 2014
Commonwealth Games, while Ryan provides information technology
support at Deans Community High School in Livingston.
Ailsa completed her training with multinational IT services
corporation, Atos, in September 2013.
She has now accepted a full time post at the company's
Livingston base, where she works on their NHS Scotland Service
She said: "Having experience of the workplace is really
important when you're looking for a job, plus I've also got a
qualification that impresses employers."
"It was the right thing for me to do, and there are lots more
people out there who would get a boost from doing a Modern
SDS Chief Executive Damien Yeates said: "Modern Apprentices are
good for young people, good for businesses and good for the
"These digital and ICT apprentices have invested in their future
by gaining vital skills and national qualifications.
"We look forward to working with them to share the benefits of
Modern Apprenticeships with young people, schools, parents and
Make Young People Your Business digital week focuses on
promoting the digital technologies sector as a career option to a
younger audience while celebrating Scottish successes in the
During the visit to Microsoft's offices in Edinburgh pupils were
given an insight into the future of digital technology and showed
off their own skills during a CoderDojo.
They were joined by Ms Constance during the coding session,
which aims to introduce young people to programming.
The Modern Apprenticeship Ambassador recruits led the coding
session and told pupils about their careers during a question and
answer session chaired by Ms Constance.
Pupils were also given a tour of the Microsoft offices and took
part in hands-on demonstrations of some of the latest
Members of the schools digital leadership group, the students
share their technology skills with fellow pupils, staff and other