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Jul 21 2014   10:03AM GMT

First female to win a Microsoft Apprentice of the Year award

FirebrandInstructors Profile: FirebrandInstructors

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Microsoft
Women in Technology


Firebrand apprentice, Kimberley Bolton, is blazing a trail for all young women currently considering a career in IT.  The 19 year old from Maidenhead, made history last week after becoming the first woman to win a Microsoft Apprentice of the Year award. It is an important milestone in an industry where women make up less than 16% of the workforce.

Kimberley-Bolton-Award

From left to right : Home Secretary, Theresa May; Apprentice Winner, Kimberley Bolton; Microsoft UK Managing Director, Michel van der Bel

Kimberley was chosen from 1,000s of apprentices on the Microsoft program to win in the‘Medium Business Category’. Working as a Junior Support Consultant for Pythagoras, she was nominated by her employers in recognition of her positive attitude and hard work. After winning the award Kimberley said:

Becoming an IT apprentice is the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve gone from having no confidence and no IT knowledge to winning Microsoft Apprentice of the Year. I’ve really had to push myself, and now it’s all paid off.

Kimberley’s achievement is a ray of light in an industry where gender remains a significant and worsening issue.  A recent report by BCS estimates less than 16% of the 1.2 million working in the UK IT industry are women. This number will decline further if the downward trend of female pupils studying ICT at GCSE and A Level continues.

Firebrand Training’s UK Managing Director, Emma Seaman said:

If we are to reverse the downward trend of young women taking an interest in IT then we must break the stereotype that ‘IT is for geeks’. Role models like Kimberley play a crucial role in breaking down this misconception and inspiring the future generation of female IT professionals.”

Attending the ceremony, Home Secretary, Theresa May shared her opinion on apprenticeships with Firebrand. Here’s what she had to say:

Apprenticeships are incredibly important in helping young adults to develop skills in the workplace. Apprenticeships are hands-on and so much more about understanding what the working environment is all about.”

Firebrand has now helped more than 100 young people pursue a career in IT through its Apprenticeship programme.

To enquire about hiring an IT Apprentice or becoming one yourself head to –  http://www.firebrandtraining.co.uk/apprenticeships

About the Author

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Edward works for Firebrand Training as a Technical Writer within the Marketing department. He spends his days thinking up topics for surveys, engaging articles and concepts for informative infographics.

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