Prime Minister David Cameron is holding a ‘jobs summit’ with some of the nation's largest companies today to discuss the creation of thousands of new employment opportunities for the UK.
IT giant Microsoft was one of the 19 companies, from a range of industry sectors, that Number 10 confirmed would be taking part in the summit, by pledging to create 4,000 jobs in the UK this year.
“Across a whole range of areas you are going to see the most pro-business, pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda ever unleashed by a government,” said Cameron.
Meanwhile, Gordon Frazer, managing director of Microsoft UK said: “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. In addition to the technical support apprenticeship, new technical sales and software development apprenticeships will launch in Spring 2011.”
Other companies that have promised to support jobs growth in the UK include the country’s largest retailers, including John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda. Tesco has pledged 9,000 jobs, while Asda plans to create 15,000 retail apprenticeships.
Gas company Centrica has also said it would create 2,600 jobs, and oil company Shell has committed to “support jobs”.
“By developing the right skills and jobs I am determined that the many, not the few, will share in the country’s prosperity,” said Cameron.
However, the BBC said that Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party, will also today accuse the prime minister of underming opportunities for young people who find it difficult to find jobs, by closing down Labour’s £1bn Future Jobs Fund initiative a year early.
The fund was set up in 2008 to pay for temporary jobs for people aged 18 to 24 who have been out of work for more than six months.
"This decision to betray young people is not just unfair, it is the wrong long-term economic judgment for our country," Mr Miliband will say, according to the BBC.
IT jobs experts believe that the private sector jobs market will continue to grow this year, but have also warned that certain skills areas may experience shortages as companies look to develop their online presence.