The PM reiterated the country’s “valued relationship” with the technology firm after being shown how artificial intelligence and products such as mixed-reality headset HoloLens allow businesses and organisations to transform how they work for the better.
May was also introduced to young staff at the company’s office in Reading, Berkshire, by Microsoft UK Chief Executive Cindy Rose and Microsoft President Brad Smith, who was visiting the UK as part of a European trip to promote the benefits of cloud computing and digital transformation.
“I have seen the amazing work going on at Microsoft and all of you have hugely exciting and interesting careers ahead of you,” she told an audience of around 100 interns, apprentices and graduates.
“You are shaping people’s everyday lives with what you do with artificial intelligence and HoloLens. This is an amazingly exciting place.
“Companies like Microsoft are important for future of the UK economy. In the UK we have a lot of clever people who can do technology well, and that’s an area in which we want to push as a government. We have a valued relationship with Microsoft and I’m sure we will continue to work with them for years to come.”
Rose said it was “an honour and a privilege” to have the Prime Minister at the Reading office, which is located in May’s Maidenhead constituency.
“We are delighted that the Prime Minister was able to visit Microsoft today and see the great work we are doing, especially by our young staff,” Rose said. “Their personalities and skills are crucial for the future of the company as well as the country, as they will help create the next generation of technology that will empower people and businesses to achieve more. I share the Prime Minister’s excitement in seeing how this group of interns, graduates and apprentices will shape their own futures and of the people around them.”
May’s visit comes just two months after Chancellor Philip Hammond toured the office, where he also met Rose and spoke to apprentices.
His visit coincided with an announcement that Microsoft had launched a programme to teach digital skills to people across the UK to ensure the country remains one of the global leaders in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and other next-generation technologies.
Hammond said: “This is further evidence that Britain is one of the best places in the world to do digital business. Microsoft’s commitment to training, technology and apprenticeships will ensure that we remain at the cutting-edge of innovation.
“Our technology industry is fundamental to securing future economic growth and this government is committed to ensuring it continues to thrive. It’s a key part of our Industrial Strategy to back Britain for the long term, creating the conditions where business can flourish, driving growth for the whole nation.