Apprentice software engineer Thomas Herring attended a parliamentary reception at the House of Commons last week, where he was presented with his award by Nadhim Zahawi MP, Member of the No 10 Policy Board with special responsibility for business and the economy.

Thomas, who is based at KCOM Group’s Hull office and works in its IT team, began his apprenticeship in October 2013. Commenting on his award and the experience of being an apprentice, he said:

I was extremely surprised and happy when they announced me as the winner at the event. Being shortlisted was a great achievement and to win the award is fantastic. Being able to study and work at the same time has been a great benefit to me and my development. I’ve been helping deliver a wide variety of projects including for a national power services supplier, a customer portal project and a corporate web application that gave me experience working to a budget and a deadline. The skills I’ve gained in the last year will help me continue developing my career in IT.

Another apprentice at KCOM Group, Liam Walker, was also a finalist in the same category of the awards and was named runner-up behind Thomas.

Since joining KCOM Group Thomas has exceeded expectations in the workplace whilst also achieving some fantastic course results. The projects Thomas has been a part of means he works closely with a technically advanced team. He’s coped very well with demands, always delivering work on time and to the high standard and quality that’s expected by our customers. The recognition and visit to the House of Commons is great for Thomas and Liam, and all the people involved in their development should be proud of the part they have played in giving two young people a great start to their working life.

Steve Humm
KCOM Group’s Chief Information Officer

Microsoft is delighted to celebrate the achievements of all our winners and finalists. There is a huge wealth of talent in the UK and it’s important to acknowledge the tremendous commitment of employers and their apprentices, who have developed their skills during tough economic times. The great news is that these young people are now firmly on the career ladder; 93% of Microsoft apprentices stay with our partner businesses and move into a fully qualified role. These awards recognise their hard work, determination and achievements, which will stand them in good stead for a successful career in IT and will help maintain the talent pipeline in the UK.

Hugh Milward
Director of Corporate Affairs at Microsoft

The Microsoft apprenticeship scheme aims to help 300,000 young people in Britain by 2015. Microsoft developed the Partner Apprenticeship to help businesses like KCOM Group access the talent they need, and as a way for young people to gain high quality IT skills and long term employment. Since 2010, Microsoft has facilitated apprenticeship opportunities for over 5,000 young people.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.


KCOM Group PLC is a leading provider of communications services to organisations and consumers, serving customers through four market focused brands.

KC provides a range of telephony and broadband services to consumers and businesses in Hull and East Yorkshire. Our other three brands serve organisations throughout the UK. Eclipse provides communications services to small and medium businesses across the UK, connecting them to customers, partners and suppliers and improving their productivity and flexibility, and helping them to grow. Kcom works with some of the UK’s biggest names, delivering communications services that enable them to be flexible, efficient and more responsive to their customers. Smart421 delivers high-end consultancy, integration and management of business-critical systems for enterprise customers.

We apply the collective knowledge and expertise of our people and our partners to help our customers harness the power of communications. Our focus is on the delivery of inspiring customer experiences, and finding new and better ways to connect people.

For further information please contact:

Laura Cavanagh
KCOM Group, PR Executive
01924 882885 / 07738 785435