Microsoft has crowned Daniel Morrison as winner of the 2015 Microsoft Modern Apprentice of the Year award at a ceremony in Scottish Parliament.
The 21-year-old, who works for Lockheed Martin in Glasgow, was chosen as the winner from the hundreds of apprentices backed by Microsoft and employed by its partner businesses.
Daniel was recognised for his exceptional contribution to Lockheed Martin since joining as an Apprentice Software Developer 18 months ago. Since 2015, Daniel has been in charge of scoping, designing, implementing and testing a vitally important functional area, as well as helping advocate for apprenticeships at company recruitment days, through blogs, and during a Skills Investment Plan reception at the Scottish Parliament.
The Microsoft Apprenticeship Programme – in partnership with training providers QA and YouTrain – is part of the company’s commitment to providing the relevant training and skills to young people in the UK to help them succeed in the workplace.
Microsoft works with businesses within its partner businesses network in Scotland to deliver the apprenticeships. In January 2013, Microsoft made a commitment to support the creation of 2016 Modern Apprenticeships in Scotland by 2016 in a bid to tackle youth unemployment and national skills shortages. By March 2015, 1,541 apprenticeships had been created, so Microsoft predicts it could hit the target three months early.
The Modern Apprentice of the Year competition also recognises employers, who are nominated by their apprentices for providing outstanding support throughout the scheme. Standard Life was the successful recipient of the Apprentice Employer Award in a very strong field of employers. In its first year taking part in the apprenticeship programme, Standard Life has taken on nine young people in total and provided each one with a clear development path to cement their future in the technology sector.
Chris Forrest, Director, Microsoft Scotland said: “Apprenticeships play a vital role in giving young people that all-important first step onto the career ladder. 93% of Microsoft apprentices stay with our partner businesses and move into a fully qualified role and today is about celebrating the wealth of young talent that we have here in Scotland. Apprentices have quickly become a huge asset to businesses all over the country and it’s great to see so many apprentices continuing to excel in their chosen workplace.”
Microsoft developed its Modern Apprenticeship activity to help businesses in Scotland access talent to build their businesses, and as a way for local young people to gain high quality IT skills and long term employment.
The Microsoft apprenticeship programme is part of the company’s Get On programme and global YouthSpark initiative, which helps provide education, employment and training opportunities for 16-24 year olds. Prior to that, in 2009, it launched Britain Works, the company’s commitment to helping 500,000 people into employment, which it achieved through a combination of partnerships with NGOs, skills training and apprenticeships – which are a crucial way of finding talent, developing skills and fuelling the talent pipeline of the IT industry.