QA, the UK’s leading tech and digital skills provider, announces a new apprenticeship designed specifically to increase the availability of Microsoft Azure cloud skills. Created in collaboration with Microsoft, the Azure Cloud Support Specialist apprenticeship will equip individuals with little or no tech experience with the skills required for much-in-demand roles such as desktop support engineer, first- and second-line helpdesk support and infrastructure technician.
With cloud now the default operating model for most businesses, it is essential that in-house IT teams are well-versed in the very latest cloud skills. But the rapid acceleration of cloud adoption during the last 12 months means that employers are struggling to fill vacancies where previous cloud experience is an essential requirement. The latest stats from ITJobsWatch indicate that Azure cloud experience is in the top four IT skills that employers are looking for across the UK.
“With more than 58% of infrastructure and operations leaders ranking insufficient skills and resources as the biggest challenge to meeting cloud adoption and optimisation goals , it makes sense for tech teams to build their own specialist Azure cloud talent,” says Darren Bance, Managing Director, Apprenticeships at QA. “Through this new apprenticeship programme, QA will help employers find individuals that have the aptitude and attitude for cloud infrastructure roles but also are a great cultural fit for each organisation. The combination of the apprenticeship levy and the current apprenticeship incentive scheme, running until the end of September, means that there is no better time to add apprentices into your tech teams.”
Designed for new and early-career tech or IT professionals looking to develop a solid grounding across a wide range of cloud-based skills, the Level 3 apprenticeship includes modules in core IT principles, cloud and networking principles, operating system fundamentals and Azure and Microsoft Office 365.
The programme is eligible for funding from the apprenticeship levy, and listed on Microsoft Connector, providing opportunities for smaller partners and customers to benefit from the levy transfer scheme. Employers implementing apprenticeship programmes as part of their digital skills strategy will benefit from access to the wider, more diverse talent pool made available by recruiting for individuals with aptitude and attitude.
“This is a great example of the kind of initiative that will deliver Microsoft’s Get On 2021 campaign target of connecting 300,000 people to tech opportunities,” said Simon Lambert, Chief Learning Officer at Microsoft UK. “With the continued growth in demand for cloud skills, it is essential that innovative programmes like this start to deliver new tech talent. We welcome this announcement and look forward to successfully building the Microsoft Azure skills pipeline to benefit Microsoft’s client and partner ecosystem.”
Darren Bance, Managing Director, Apprenticeships at QA concludes: “This new Level 3 Azure Cloud Support Specialist apprenticeship is a great example of QA’s commitment to innovation in the skills market, defying the perception that the digital skills gap is impossible to address. With experience in training thousands of learners in Microsoft Azure skills each year, and having launched the careers of 15,000 Microsoft apprentices to date, QA is best placed to deliver cloud training that employers can be confident will deliver the workplace skills they need.”