Microsoft partner joins apprentice race

A new IT apprenticeship has been launched in the East Midlands with the backing of one of Microsoft’s key UK partners. Derby College is teaming up with risual, an IT consultancy that has seen enormous growth since launching ten years ago, to roll out the new qualification. The one-year Advanced Apprenticeship for IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals is designed for young people already working in junior IT roles at local businesses who require formal training and for school leavers looking to earn whilst they learn.

Derby College Deputy Principal Employer and Economic Affairs, April Hayhurst, explained: “Since opening the risual Microsoft Academy, we have offered additional industry-relevant IT training for staff and students to bridge the gap between industry and education.

“A key aspect of our partnership work with risual is to provide this bespoke apprenticeship programme which includes specific Microsoft units that employers require and value.


“Delivering real returns to the bottom line’

“With a proven track record in running high-quality IT apprenticeship programmes, this qualification in partnership with risual is a real opportunity for businesses to introduce fresh dynamism, thinking and ideas into their business and to keep pace with new technologies.

“Apprenticeships can deliver real returns to an employer’s bottom line – filling skills gaps while boosting efficiency and competitiveness.

“For the apprentice, it is the opportunity earn whilst they learn with real job training and to gain recognised qualifications that are valued worldwide.”

risual Education Director Tina Jones continued: “Research shows that there will be a 740,000 shortfall in IT professionals in the UK by 2017 which shows the importance of investing in digital skills now.

“There are more than 1.2 billion users of Microsoft across the world and employers tell us that they need such skills in their workforce.

“The level three apprenticeship is a key part of the risual Microsoft Academy programme to ensure that young IT professionals have the skills that they need for their organisations to grow.