4 August 2017
A Government statement released last year called for “urgent” action in developing skills within the technology and communications sectors in order to address the growing digital skill gaps in the UK. In response to this QA collaborated with Microsoft to create a Microsoft Traineeship.
To say the Microsoft traineeship programme has been successful would be an understatement. In the last 12 months alone, 13 young people have been given the opportunity to start an apprenticeship as a direct result of completing their traineeship.
A stand out candidate from the traineeship is Paul James from Maidenhead. Wind the clock back 6 months and Paul’s options looked limited - no qualifications, unemployed and with a pregnant girlfriend at home, Paul, who is interested in digital marketing needed an opportunity. When presented with the prospect of a Microsoft traineeship, Paul knew this was his chance to make a significant difference to his future.
The Microsoft traineeship enables young people to hurdle the obstacles faced in securing full-time employment by arming them with training and experience. As well as employability, literacy and numeracy skills the traineeship incorporates the mission critical skills of coding, cloud computing, marketing and sales, meaning learners gain a rounded skill base.
Paul was the oldest in his traineeship group at 22-years-old, with the youngest being just 16, but that did not stop Paul from giving the traineeship everything. Paul joined the apprenticeship unsure if he had made the right decision but quickly found that he had some transferrable skills in his locker.
A keen YouTuber, Paul had expertise that would make his transition to the workplace easier Paul recalls: “Before I went to Microsoft, I thought: ‘I’m good at computers, I’m good at promoting myself and my YouTube channel on social media, but how can I incorporate that into a job?’”.
“It wasn’t until I went to Microsoft that I realised my full potential. I learnt so much about myself there, it’s been a turnaround for me, in my life. It’s opened doors. I can achieve things I never thought I could achieve. I used to doubt myself and think: ‘I can’t do that’. I want to work in a big tech company but I thought I would never have the skills to do that. While I was there, they were like: ‘wow, you actually have great skills and they are all self-taught’. Paul continued.
“It boosted my confidence a lot. I had to stand up in front of a lot of people and talk, and I used to be really shy and scared. At the start of the course I was so nervous I would stutter all the time, speak really fast and then forget what I was talking about. But as the course progressed, I got more confident.”
Paul was described as “committed” and it was noted he “applied himself well” by Sarah Foxall, Corporate Affairs Manager at Microsoft.
With Paul shining, he went on to ace his traineeship. The job was not done for Paul though, what was the next step?
“It’s my dream, working for my dream company,” Paul says.
Paul clearly loved his Microsoft experience and consequently applied for an apprenticeship at Microsoft (Also run in collaboration with QA). Having completed his application forms and interviews he could only nervously wait.
He was not left waiting for long and we are pleased to report Paul was taken on an as an apprentice with his goal of working in digital marketing becoming more like a reality as each day passes.
Paul also welcomed a new addition to his family, in the shape of baby Archie, who is nearly as challenging as his traineeship, both mother and baby are doing well and Paul is excited to start the next stage of his career.
If you are interested in a Microsoft Traineeship: