READING EAST MP Matt Rodda attended a meeting recently at Microsoft UK in their Thames Valley Park headquarters to discuss technology and training along with Reading Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Strategic Planning and Transport Councillor Tony Page.

He was given a demonstration of Microsoft’s new flagship consumer device, the Microsoft Mixed Reality headset. The device, which is a platform blending augmented reality with virtual reality, and has many applications from consumer gaming and recreation to bespoke industrial application. Matt tried out the headset, calling it a ‘unique experience’ before meeting with young undergraduates currently on a variety of industrial work-based internships and apprenticeship programmes.

 Microsoft has a strong presence with many universities in the United Kingdom, and actively recruits apprenticeships via undergraduates taking their industrial placement in the third year of what is a four-year degree programme. Graduates then complete their placement and return to university to complete their degree, whereupon graduating, Microsoft look to retain that key talent.

 “We recruit for potential, not experience,” said David Frank, Microsoft’s UK Government Affairs Manager. He continued “Our intention is to keep apprentices after their graduation. Microsoft doesn’t just look for people with a technology-based degree; we look for the potential in people.”

 Matt said:

I believe today’s meeting went well and has set the foundation for many further conversations that need to be had on issues such as innovative technology here in the Thames Valley and how to preserve that, as well as building on the excellent training programmes in place at Microsoft so that talent can be sourced and retained. It was also useful to discuss how important the technology sector is here in my constituency, and to find ways to ensure that this area remains an attractive proposition for employees, creative collaborators and future investors.”

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