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Microsoft to recruit 4,000 in government jobs drive

Alex Scroxton

Microsoft hopes to create 4,000 new jobs in the UK this year through its Britain Works recruitment programme.

The software giant announced its plans today as part of a co-ordinated effort to create thousands of private sector jobs in the UK during 2011.

Among the firms signing up to the government-backed drive are ASDA, Centrica, John Lewis and Marks and Spencer.

Prime minister David Cameron said it was vital to the economic recovery to create a climate where the private sector can grow and develop.

"You're going to see the most pro-busienss, pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda ever unleashed by a government," he said.

Microsoft UK managing director Gordon Frazer said that the Britain Works programme had created 9,000 positions since 2009.

"[The scheme] does two things. Firstly it creates new jobs in the form of highly skilled apprenticeships and opportunities for entrepreneurs to start new businesses. Secondly it provides IT training to give people the right skills for existing vacanies," said Frazer.

"Microsoft's apprenticeships train unemployed young people from Job Centre Plus as technical support staff employed in our partner network, with support from the National Apprenticeship Service," he added.

Frazer said that new technical sales and software development apprenticeships would come on stream in the coming months to complement its technical support training.

However, the government has come under fire from the opposition for canning Labour's Future Jobs Fund, a £1bn initiative which pays for temporary jobs for 18 to 24 year-olds who have been out of work for six months or more.

Labour leader Ed Miliband today branded the move a betrayal of the young.


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