Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician)

Why a Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) Firebrand Apprenticeship?

Employers need Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) apprenticeships because...

  • Apprenticeships deliver the digital skills you need across your organisation. Whether it's hiring more skilled employees or improving the quality of existing staff's technical know-how, Firebrand’s apprenticeships bring new skills into the workplace quickly
  • Your people will engage with your business. Apprenticeships accelerate the speed and quality of key business projects by increasing the number of staff with skills to deliver them. Apprentices see they're making a difference, making them want to stay at their company for longer
  • Apprentices want to learn more. Your digital workforce need to be ready to keep up with the pace of technology change. A recent Government survey found 73% of digital apprentices plan to undertake further study within three years

Apprentices need Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) apprenticeships because...

  • You'll be ready for anything. IT apprenticeships teach and test the core skills that enable you to work effectively across a range of products. Once you've mastered the main concepts, you’ll extend your skills in current and future technologies used at work.
  • It makes you better at your job. Firebrand's programme helps you develop new knowledge about your job, gain new skills and embed new behaviours to help you make a greater contribution to your employer.
  • It's valued by your industry. More and more employers are recognising the value apprentices bring to their organisation. An apprenticeship badges you as a forward-thinking, highly skilled individual who is willing to keep learning - all key traits employers want to see in their digital staff

Firebrand's Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) apprenticeship delivers...

  • Industry-recognised quality. Our apprenticeships combine the core digital skills businesses need with the product knowledge learners want, giving apprentices a strong technical grounding and making them instantly productive
  • The skills you want. Customise programmes by adding product training and certification for apprentices to support business needs. Firebrand's programmes teach apprentices as much about successful application of systems as they do about mastering functionality
  • Great results. Firebrand's training delivers some of the best results in the sector - over 90% retention for the past two years, above-average pass rates across all standards and one-third of apprentices achieving Distinction (national average 21%).

Find out more about IT apprenticeships here

What is a Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) Firebrand Apprenticeship?

How will apprentices learn?

Firebrand's apprenticeship training is delivered through a combination of market-leading residential training, online learning and targeted support from our in-house subject experts:

Residential Training

A suite of Firebrand's proprietary training courses, delivered at our state-of-the-art facility in Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire. Courses cover all requirements of the knowledge modules for the standard, ensuring a strong grounding in the core skills of the role.

Once all knowledge exams are complete, apprentices will have the opportunity to undertake a course of their choice, providing additional depth of knowledge.

Personal Development, Behaviour and Attitudes

We support the personal development, behaviour and welfare of all apprentices through accredited online programme Impact. This video-led modular course will help apprentices develop their awareness and understanding of challenges they may encounter in the workplace and wider society. Learning content is linked to current events to provide real-world context. On completion of Impact, apprentices receive certification that contributes to their summative portfolio of evidence, showing how they have fulfilled key behavioural development criteria of the standard.


When not undertaking formal training, apprentices will be learning at work, applying their skills to business-specific projects and gaining a deeper appreciation of their role and business through off-the-job activity.

What's the process?

  • Onboarding activity – supported by our Enrolment and Administration Teams, apprentices and employers will undergo all necessary checks to ensure the apprentice can succeed on programme
  • First Day of Learning webinar – this online session, led by a Learning Mentor, outlines the apprentice's journey from initial meeting to End Point Assessment and the expectations of all parties involved
  • Learning Journey – the apprentice undertakes formal and informal learning over 13 months, covering, applying and recording all the competencies required to pass their apprenticeship. Residential training, online learning and Subject Matter Expert sessions will be spaced regularly, giving apprentices time to apply one skillset effectively before learning another. Progress is reviewed during formal sessions approximately every 10 weeks.
  • End Point Assessment – the final review, conducted by an independent body, of whether the apprentice has met all the competencies required to pass the standard. This includes a reference from the employer, portfolio of evidence, knowledge tests and final interview with an assessor. End Point Assessment activities are completed over approximately 12 weeks.

Who's on hand to help?

Firebrand provide wrap-round support to ensure apprentices' technical, learning and personal needs are met. Every apprentice is supported throughout their qualification by a Learning Mentor, a former industry professional who understands exactly what it's like to work in the sector and can advise on how to evidence the required knowledge, skills and behaviours through the work apprentices do every day. Our Course Instructors deliver residential training, while in-depth information on subject-specific topics and industry insight is provided by Subject Matter Experts.

What happens at the end?

An apprenticeship is a recognised benchmark of skills and knowledge that allows an apprentice to:

  • Acquire professional accreditation (e.g. BCS Register of IT Technicians (RITTech))
  • Continue their apprenticeship studies at a higher level
  • Undertake further professional training to develop additional product knowledge and skills. Visit Firebrand's commercial training pages for details of how our accelerated training could support life after an apprenticeship.

Become an IT apprentice employer now

Reviews of Firebrand Apprenticeships

Feedback shows our approach is delivering the tangible benefits outlined above for both employers and apprentices. We are proud to work with and receive great recognition from our customers. Today we're actively helping employers and apprentices acquire better skills, be more engaged and make clear contributions to their business outcomes.

Apprenticeships deliver new skills…

The best thing about my apprenticeship? Seeing the progression from how you were when you started. Working on the job, you’re gaining skills constantly – you look at how far you’ve come and what you can do now. Level 4 Software Developer apprentice

A real-world approach delivers results…

My first cohort delivered a presentation on their live project to a local MP who came in, and he was blown away by the work these apprentices were doing, given that some of them hadn't coded up until that point. This was quite early on in their apprenticeship, month 4 or 5. They had more confidence than more experienced employees and they had a much more natural pattern than other people who have been here years. That was a bit of a light bulb moment, seeing what they could achieveLine Manager, Transport for London

Hiring apprentices promotes retention…

With graduates, they come in sometimes and they just want to keep moving on to the next thing, gaining promotion after promotion. coming in at a younger age and gaining the skills within the team means he’s settled with us and hopefully we’ll get to keep him a lot longer. Team Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

Firebrand’s people know the industry inside out…

The instructors on the courses are all excellent and brilliant. They have so much experience behind them. Not only are you learning on the job, you’re listening to them and their personal experiences which are always so interesting. Level 3 Infrastructure Technician apprentice

Training for the industry is better than training to the minimum requirement…

I saw some of the work that came out of [my apprentice’s] Java course, which was very good; exactly what we needed from him. He probably picked up a few things that he won’t be using day to day, but it gives him that extra depth of knowledge which makes him more confident when he comes to use the technology. Line Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

Apprenticeships train engaged people with the right skills…

Ultimately, one of the big reasons we're doing apprenticeships is to home-grow the exact kind of person we want, with the exact kind of skills. The more effort you put in…the more likely you are to get the kind of person you know will then be able to go anywhere within your organisation. Line Manager, Transport for London

Daniel is currently on his level 4 Network Engineer apprenticeship with Firebrand, and is due to complete his programme in 2018:

Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) Overview

This occupation is found in organisations, large and small, in all sectors, and within public, private and voluntary organisations.  Organisations of all types are increasing applying digital technologies across all their business functions to maximise productivity.  The demand for people who can support and implement these digital operations and digital transformation projects is increasing. Similarly, organisations of all types are increasingly supporting their service users though online and digital channels, as they develop omni-channel approaches to meeting customer needs, deflect traditional telephone and face-to-face contacts and to reduce costs.

The broad purpose of a Digital Support Technician is to maximise the effective use of digital office technologies, productivity software, digital communications, including collaborative technologies, and digital information systems to achieve objectives.

Apprentices on the Digital Applications Technician pathway help their organisation and its internal users to maximise the use of digital technologies and adapt to and exploit changes in technology to meet organisation objectives and maximise productivity ensure effective use of digital office technologies, productivity software, digital communications, including collaborative technologies, and digital information systems to achieve objectives.

In their daily work, Digital Support Technicians interact with a wide variety of internal or external users of digital systems, through digital channels, by phone and/or face to face.

Typical job roles are Digital Coach, Digital Transformation Associate; ICT Support Analyst, Digital Champion, Database Administrator, Data Administrator, IT Operations Technician, Digital Applications Specialist and Digital Systems Operator.

Technical Skills

Upon completion of their Digital Support Technician apprenticeship, individuals will be able to:

Core

  • Digital technologies: uses a range of digital office technologies, including collaborative tools, appropriately for internal and external communications, including, for example, office suites, conferencing facilities and mass email tools; survey tools; social media tools for business; SMS; live chat and video chat; web conferencing to support the delivery of services and to share information with customers and colleagues
  • Data management: uses data systems effectively, appropriately and securely to meet business requirements and in line with organisational procedures and legislation
  • Digital security: applies information security principles to information transfer, deletion, storage, usage and communications – using mobile devices where appropriate
  • Digital services support: responds appropriately and effectively to internal or external enquiries; providing support and information using utilising digital channels where appropriate and responding according to organisation protocols
  • Digital Information Management Systems: operates a range of digital information systems and tools to maintain information and to support service delivery, whether Client Management Systems (CMS), Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM), Finance or human systems or other bespoke digital systems or databases. This includes searching, storing, integrating and organising data; data entry and maintenance; data modelling; relationship modelling and data analysis to identify trends and insights
  • Communication: communicates effectively in writing, verbally and face to face appropriately through different digital channels, including e-mail, telephone and collaborative technologies, including digital specialists and others, using technical terminology and non-technical terminology as appropriate, whether for internal or external communication
  • Digital learning: studies using digital resources to extend knowledge and skills in the use of new digital systems or features and other skills
  • Organisational policies and standards: operates in line with organisational polices, standards, legislation, professional ethics, privacy and confidentiality and knows where to source these and when and how to escalate any issues
  • Thinking skills: thinks logically and creatively to resolve digital problems
  • Business and decision-making skills: demonstrates an understanding of the organisational impact of decisions that they take
  • Continuous improvement: effectively uses complex management information systems to drive productivity and performance of self and department, whilst proactively looking for ways to develop digital systems and processes to drive efficiency
  • Teamwork: competently uses digital technologies to operate effectively as part of a team, and with other stakeholders, enabling sharing of information and best practice
  • Work environment: maintains a productive, professional and secure working environment

Digital Applications Technician

  • Digital technologies: applies sophisticated digital technologies effectively to achieve objectives
  • Information Systems: monitors and operates complex information systems
  • Digital Implementation: supports digital operations and/or digital change and transformation by championing and demonstrating best practices
  • Digital problem solving: identifies and resolves digital problems independently for self and colleagues to maintain productivity and improve quality of service
  • Digital skills support: coaches and guides less experienced colleagues to develop their digital skills and to use digital systems effectively
  • Productivity software: uses a range of digital applications appropriate to the role to create, update, edit, manage, analyse and present data and information
  • Working with colleagues: works with internal colleagues across the organisation – whether digital specialists or otherwise

Technical Knowledge and Understanding

Upon completion of their Digital Support Technician apprenticeship, individuals will understand:

Core

  • the most common digital office technologies, including collaborative tools, that are used by organisations for internal and external communications and best working practices
  • modern digital infrastructure, including computer systems fundamentals including physical, virtual and cloud; physical systems including hardware peripherals; operating software and software devices; servers; the internet of things; networking fundamentals; virtualisation technologies and cloud
  • the importance of and the technologies for backing up data securely
  • how to apply the processes and procedures for the secure handling of data
  • the concepts and fundamentals of data, including searching, storing, integrating and organising data; how organisations use various types of data; the key features and functions of information systems; data formats and their importance for analysis; data entry and maintenance; visualisation and presentation of data; data modelling; relationship modelling and data analysis to identify trends and insights
  • the organisational importance of information security and its management including following policies and procedures and key legislative requirements
  • the major types of threats and risk that apply to any organisation with a working understanding of those that apply to their role and the associated best practice for their own secure working
  • operational aspects of risk including maintaining steady state/business as usual security principals for individuals and systems including personal data, access, identity management, encryption and passwords
  • the individual and company risks, responsibilities and requirements in relation to legislation, professional ethics, privacy and confidentiality and the implications for their role
  • the principles behind an organisation’s digital presence and delivery and the techniques required to maintain this and how to represent and safeguard the brand and reputation in relation to the digital offer
  • how best to communicate using the different digital communication channels and how to adapt appropriately to different audiences
  • the limitations and extent of the internet to be able to connect to, research, locate and access information securely
  • how to plan and organise own learning activities to maintain and develop digital skills
  • the importance of effective time management and the need to prioritise effectively
  • the need for continuous improvement with the application and use of digital technologies and how this benefits the organisation
  • awareness of current, emerging and fringe digital technologies and the implications for work

Digital Applications Technician

  • the most common productivity software applications used to create, update, edit, manage, analyse and present data and information and best working practices
  • the main features and benefits of digital information systems and how these are used to maintain information and to support service delivery and best working practices
  • the basic working practices for productive use and maintenance of business hardware, software and networks
  • agile methodologies and work practices, Continuous Innovation with Continuous Development (CIDC)
  • how organisations incorporate digital technologies into key business functions, such as finance, sales and marketing, operations and HR and the implications for their role
  • how to assist with digital operations and digital change projects
  • how to train and support internal colleagues to make the best use of the organisation’s technology-based productivity tools.
  • the features and key differences between different data storage systems including the Cloud and databases

Behaviours

  • Works independently and takes responsibility maintains productive and professional working environment with secure working practices
  • Uses own initiative when implementing digital technologies and when finding solutions
  • Resilient and positive mental attitude when dealing with difficult situations
  • Maintains thorough and organised approach to work when working with digital technologies and prioritising as appropriate

Level

This is a level 3 apprenticeship

Duration

The duration of this Firebrand apprenticeship is 16 months. Because this period involves both training and the final End Point Assessment (some of which must be carried out in the workplace), employers need to ensure the apprentice’s contract covers the full programme duration.

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What are the benefits of a Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) apprenticeship?

Firebrand’s digital apprenticeships deliver new skills while supporting both the individual and their employer. Benefit from award-winning training supported by on-going guidance along the way with digital apprenticeships that create valuable, long-lasting employees.

Benefits to employers

Improved retention rate - 69% of companies say digital apprenticeships improve retention*. Apprentices are completely engaged by employers, knowing they’re highly valued employees. Employees find themselves in a marketplace where their hard-won digital skills are highly valuable and in demand.

Always learning - 73% of digital apprentices expect to undertake further study within two to three years*. With increasing digital transformation, apprentices continue to master new technologies and processes. Having digital workers that are focused on developing their skills will better position businesses around new technologies, like updated cloud platforms.

Tailor your training - Get business-specific skills alongside apprenticeship requirements. The flexibility of Firebrand’s delivery allows employers to select training options that align most closely with the existing technology stack to work on current projects. Where applicable, employers can embed specific vendor products, like Microsoft, into apprenticeships to deliver a greater depth of learning.

Happier employees - Apprentices feel valued with their new digital skills. 78% of digital apprentices reported improved job satisfaction, job security and career prospects*.This satisfaction increases productivity and happiness in the workplace, benefitting employers by increasing employee engagement.

Networking and peer learning - Firebrand’s residential training centre delivers award-winning public courses to industry professionals. Learning takes place alongside individuals from different organisations with varying levels of experience. Apprentices benefit from receiving a valuable insight into how their skills are applied in different contexts.

Watch the video below to see how Firebrand's digital apprenticeships help employers hire and train current and future staff:



Benefits to apprentices

Real world skills - Apprentices benefit from learning up-to-date digital skills in a time of rapid digitalisation. They develop technical knowledge and industry insight through practical learning and real life application. Become an expert in different technologies and a valuable asset to the team.

Investment in your career - Digital apprenticeships are a career investment – with Firebrand you’re committing to the highest quality IT training. This investment is the first step toward a rewarding future with an employer as they commit time and money in the learner's skills development. Digital apprentices feel so valued in their workplace that 89% of them said that they want to stay at the same employer for the next two to three years*.

Learn while at work - An apprenticeship combines a full-time job with formal learning. New and existing staff can benefit from the opportunity to learn while continuing to work, getting new skills without having to study on evenings or weekends.

Support a career change - Digital apprenticeships provide the skills to move into new IT roles, giving more control of the learner's digital career path. Move seamlessly between roles in an organisation without experience of a particular field, or using experience of other digital roles in a related field.

Never forget again - Digital apprenticeships reinforce learning. They’re built on the principle of learning and immediately using skills that will help apprentices do their job better. Quality programmes incorporate structured training and project activity to apply and demonstrate new skills. 90% of regular learning is forgotten within 3 to 6 days, unless it’s regularly reinforced. Firebrand’s training style helps gain skills more quickly, retaining and using them more effectively.

Watch the video below to find out how digital apprenticeships with Firebrand can kickstart careers:



*according to the 2017 Apprenticeships Evaluation for the Department for Education

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Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician)

Firebrand’s apprenticeship programme covers all mandatory knowledge and skills outlined in the apprenticeship standard. Every Firebrand apprentice attends a suite of market-leading training programmes, to cover knowledge required from the apprenticeship standard. This training is then fleshed out through a package of selected online learning, which also allows apprentices to explore any topics of particular interest/importance to them in greater depth.

How are apprentices taught?

Apprentices receive a range of market-leading training as part of their qualification – typically between three and five courses per apprenticeship - giving them fundamental skills at speed.

Firebrand uses a combination of award-winning vendor course delivery combined with additional custom content. This apprenticeship-specific delivery ensures apprentices learn the additional syllabus outlined in the standard in addition to industry-recognised curriculum.

The information below outlines the training curriculum delivered for each Knowledge Module through Firebrand's residential classroom-based training and online learning modules.

The information below outlines the training curriculum delivered for each Knowledge Module through Firebrand's residential classroom-based training and online learning modules.


Knowledge and Understanding

Module 1: Using Computers

  • Common Computing Devices
  • Using a Workstation
  • Using an OS
  • Managing an OS
  • Troubleshooting and Support

Module 2: Using Apps and Databases

  • Using Data Types and Units
  • Using Apps
  • Programming and App Development
  • Using Databases

Module 3: Using Computer Hardware

  • Using Device Interfaces
  • Using Peripheral Devices
  • Using Storage Devices
  • Using File Systems

Module 4: Using Networks

  • Networking Concepts
  • Connecting to a Network
  • Secure Web Browsing
  • Using Shared Storage
  • Using Mobile Devices

Module 5: Security Concepts

  • Security Concerns
  • Using Best Practices
  • Using Access Controls
  • Behavioral Security Concepts

Module 6: Infrastructure

  • Cloud Fundamentals
  • Waterfall vs. Agile
  • DevOps

Module 1: Cloud concepts

  • 1.1. Explain cloud principles
  • 1.2. Identify cloud networking concepts and storage techniques
  • 1.3. Understand cloud design aspects

Module 2: Business principles of cloud environments

  • 2.1. Identify and employ appropriate cloud assessments like feasibility studies, benchmarking, or gap analysis
  • 2.2. Highlight key business aspects of cloud vendor relation adoption
  • 2.3. Comprehend cloud migration approaches 

Module 3: Management and technical operations

  • 3.1. Explain aspects of operating within the cloud, like data management or optimisation
  • 3.2. Understand the role of DevOps in cloud environments, like API integration or provisioning

Module 4: Governance, risk, compliance and security for the cloud

  • 4.1. Understand risk management and response concepts related to cloud services 
  • 4.2. Identify the importance and impacts of compliance in the cloud, like regulatory concerns or international standards

1.0 Understand how to communicate effectively though digital channels

  • Understands how best to communicate using the different digital communication channels and how to adapt appropriately to different audiences
  • Understands how best to communicate to different users though digital channels and how to adapt appropriate to different audiences
  • Understands the principles behind an organisation’s digital presence and delivery and the techniques required to maintain this and how to represent and safeguard the brand and reputation in relation to the digital offer
  • Understands sales and customer service support processes, and their role within it including in relation to digital impact and possible damage to brand reputation

2.0 Understand the main digital technologies used by organisations

  • Understands the most common productivity software applications used to create, update, edit, manage, analyse and present data and information and best working practices
  • Understands the main features and benefits of digital information systems and how these are used to maintain information and to support service delivery and best working practices
  • Understands how organisations incorporate digital technologies into key business functions, such as finance, sales and marketing, operations and HR and the implications for their role
  • Understands how to use databases, CRM packages, content management systems, office systems, web technologies; e mail and mass e mail tools, SMS, live chat, video chat and messaging platforms; survey tools; social media tools for business; and other collaborative tools, including web conferencing
  • Understands the need for continuous improvement with the application and use of digital technologies and how this benefits the organisation

3.0 Understand how to support the digital operations

  • Understands how to train and support internal colleagues to make the best use of the organisation’s technology-based productivity tools.
  • Understands how to coach and support a wide variety of external users to help them make the best use of digital technologies to access information, services or products and conduct transactions
  • Understands how the organisation’s legal and ethical position fits with organisational needs and customer expectations
  • Understands the processes and principles of content management systems to identify and resolve uses’ digital problems
  • Understands what is meant by a CRM system, how to use it for accessing and maintaining the customers’ digital information and the contribution of CRM to an organisations performance and customer service

4.0 Understand own development needs

  • Understands how to plan and organise own learning activities to maintain and develop digital skills
  • Understands the limitations and extent of the internet to be able to connect to, research, locate and access information securely

Our EPA Test Prep course is designed to provide apprentices with practical exam strategies and guidance on how to approach the Knowledge Tests in the Digital Support Technician End Point Assessment. Apprentices develop their understanding of the key topics they will be assessed on and are given practical exam tips and advice.

Learning objectives:

Apprentices will become familiar with the knowledge test requirements, potential knowledge statements and exam approach for the three Knowledge Units:

  • Unit 1 (KU1) Core Knowledge:  Security and Legislation
  • Unit 2 (KU2) Digital Applications Knowledge (option 1)
  • Unit 3 (KU3) Digital Service Knowledge (option 2)

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When do Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) apprentices train?

Firebrand’s apprenticeship programmes are based around a core suite of residential training programmes delivering fundamental knowledge and skills to support on-the-job activity. All training courses are held at our dedicated training centre in Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire.

Basing delivery around our public training schedule allows Firebrand to offer apprenticeship delivery on an open cohort basis. However, where an employer can provide enough apprentices to form a closed cohort (typically between 8 and 15 apprentices per cohort) we can schedule closed-cohort training at our delivery centre. We run both open- and closed-cohort training for current employers; the delivery option selected depends on business needs, in terms of both required skills and operational logistics.

Below we've listed the course dates for the training delivered at Firebrand's training centre against this programme.

 

Firebrand’s apprenticeship programmes are based around a core suite of residential training programmes delivering fundamental knowledge and skills to support on-the-job activity. All training courses are held at our dedicated training centre in Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire.

Basing delivery around our public training schedule allows Firebrand to offer apprenticeship delivery on an open cohort basis. However, where an employer can provide enough apprentices to form a closed cohort (typically between 8 and 15 apprentices per cohort) we can schedule closed-cohort training at our delivery centre. We run both open- and closed-cohort training for current employers; the delivery option selected depends on business needs, in terms of both required skills and operational logistics.

Below we've listed the course dates for the training delivered at Firebrand's training centre against this programme.

When

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Finished

Open

Start

Finish

Days

Status

Open

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Who can enrol on a Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) apprenticeship?

Apprentices don’t need lots of experience to enrol on a digital apprenticeship with Firebrand. Our digital apprenticeship programmes give individuals all the skills needed to be a digital expert in their new role.

We've provided answers to common questions from both employers and apprentices to help establish whether an individual is eligible to enrol on a programme:

Is there an upper age limit for someone that wants to go on an apprenticeship programme?

Individuals can enrol as long as they’re over 16 - there’s no upper age limit. With a desire to learn and a real interest in IT, Firebrand will teach individuals everything else they need to know to succeed.

What's the minimum educational criteria for entry onto Firebrand's apprenticeship programme?

We don't set specific educational criteria - all our programmes are designed to upskill individuals with no prior experience. We only require apprentices to pass the Functional Skills diagnostic prior to enrolling on the programme (see below).

It's up to an employer whether they wish to specify any particular qualifications or experience (such as GCSEs or a relevant lower-level apprenticeship) as part of their application process.

I have someone that I want to put on an apprenticeship but they have no GCSEs in English and Maths. Can they still enrol on an apprenticeship programme?

Individuals can enrol on an apprenticeship without GCSEs. However, they will be required to pass a Level 2 Functional Skills assessment in both English and Maths as part of their apprenticeship.

During enrolment, we'll ask apprentices to take an online test to determine whether they meet Level 2 standards in English and Maths, before they start the programme. As long as they reach this standard, they can begin the programme. Our Functional Skills tutor will work with them to ensure they pass the exams during the first months of their apprenticeship.

My potential apprentice has an IT based degree. Are they eligible?

Possibly. We look at every case individually to see whether an individual's previous learning makes them suitable for an apprenticeship. In most cases, as long as there is clear evidence that an individual requires the skills to do their job and has not received previous training in most of those specified, then they are eligible. Even where an individual has some of the skills required, we may be able to adjust the programme (and the price) so they can get the training they need.

However, as apprenticeships are intended for individuals who need to learn skills from scratch, Firebrand’s digital programmes may not be suitable if candidates have extensive qualifications or work experience that cover the skills to be taught in the programme.

My apprentice doesn't want to learn through residential training. Can we still use Firebrand as a provider?

Not really. Our residential training courses are absolutely fundamental to our apprenticeships - this is when apprentices get the knowledge and skills they need to pass exams that show they've met the requirements of the apprenticeship. The supporting training we offer helps to prepare for these courses, but doesn't deliver the full spectrum of learning.

Over 20 years of residential delivery, we've consistently seen the benefits of professionals being able to acquire an entire skillset - and take their exam - in one out-of-office period. The immersive, no-distractions approach really allows them to focus on their learning, rather than feeling they're being called away from the day job. They take exams with the knowledge still 'fresh' and return to work with all the skills they need to progress.

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How much does a Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) apprenticeship cost?

The total cost of this apprenticeship programme is £13,000. How much you pay as an employer will depend on whether your business pays the Apprenticeship Levy.

What does this cost include?

The breadth and depth of our course content means we deliver knowledge beyond the standard for every apprentice.

Training costs include:

  • A suite of residential training programmes delivered by our skilled Course Instructors
  • First attempts at all examinations required as part of the apprenticeship (plus second attempts at BCS examinations)
  • Online learning from Pluralsight, offering over 3000 video-based courses led by industry experts
  • Continuous support, guidance and advice from your Learning Mentor to help apprentices progress effectively
  • Where applicable, additional classroom training from a menu of vendor courses to broaden apprentices' knowledge and skills even further

Don't see the course you want included in the apprenticeship programme?

We can use our portfolio of over 600 vendor courses to tailor training for larger cohorts of apprentices, including a substantial discount for additional courses. Contact us to find out how we can deliver more value through a bespoke apprenticeship training package.

Are employers or apprentices charged for the accommodation at Firebrand's residential training centre?

There's no additional charge for accommodation and food provided as part of our residential training delivery.

How is the apprenticeship paid for?

Employers with an annual paybill over £3million can finance this training through the Apprenticeship Levy. The diagram below shows how the Levy is calculated:

For employers with an annual paybill under £3million, the government pay 95% of the total training costs, with the employer paying 5% of the total apprenticeship fee.

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How are Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) apprentices assessed?

An End Point Assessment (EPA) is the final step in the apprenticeship journey. Each apprentice is assessed by an independent organisation, who checks the individual can demonstrate all the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by their apprenticeship standard.

What happens during EPA?

Before EPA, apprentices enter a 'Gateway' period, where Firebrand's Learning Mentor will work with the employer, the apprentice and our Quality Team to judge whether the apprentice has fully met all requirements of the standard. After that, they will formally enter the EPA process and complete all the elements for that standard. The full EPA takes around 12 weeks to complete.

EPA elements vary slightly between digital standards, but all include a combination of the following:

Summative Portfolio

Apprentices collect evidence of how they have applied the knowledge, skills and behaviours learned during training as part of their job. This evidence is uploaded to their OneFile account, and monitored by their Learning Mentor and the Quality Team to ensure it is comprehensive and relevant. This evidence - the Summative Portfolio - is submitted to demonstrate their professional development over time. Summative Portfolio evidence can be written, image-based, audio or video – whatever medium helps apprentices get the point across best. Every apprentice's Summative Portfolio will include a series of projects, longer-form pieces of evidence showing how multiple skills have been used on a particular piece of work. 

Synoptic Project

This is an extended, specific project task set by the EPA organisation, which is designed to allow apprentices to use a variety of skills to achieve a relevant solution to a previously unknown problem. Apprentices select their project from a shortlist of options. Synoptic projects ('synoptic' just means 'providing a general summary') last for approximately 40 hours, and must be completed in the workplace under supervised conditions. This allows assessors to 'benchmark' apprentices from different companies and in different jobs within a similar context.

Case Study Presentation

Instead of the Synoptic Project, some standards include a Case Study to help assessors make consistent judgements. As for the Synoptic Project, EPA organisations set a shortlist of possible titles, from which apprentices choose one for further development. They have 20 hours to complete the case study, before delivering the results of their work as a 20-minute presentation to an EPA assessor. The presentation includes a question-and-answer session on the apprentice's approach and methods. 

Knowledge Tests

Some standards don't include knowledge exams or certifications as part of the training requirements. Instead, apprentices' knowledge is assessed through a series of multiple-choice tests during EPA, which align to each of the modules they complete. For these standards, Firebrand's training programme includes a residential preparation course, when apprentices will go through the test format, revise knowledge topics and gain practice before taking the final knowledge tests.

Employer reference

This extended document is created by the apprentice's employer mentor, and explains how (in their view) the apprentice has met all the required competencies of the standard through the work they do. Firebrand Learning Mentors will provide a template and regular guidance on completing this document, so it becomes an ongoing record rather than a last-minute summary. The finished document should demonstrate the apprentice's value to the employer - a crucial element in deciding how effectively they've achieved the goals of the apprenticeship.

Interview

The final element is a one-to-one interview between the apprentice and the EPA assessor, usually conducted remotely. The assessor will ask the apprentice about the work in their Summative Portfolio and their approach to completing the Synoptic Project/Case Study. 

Who delivers our End Point Assessments?

The British Computer Society (BCS) assesses all Firebrand apprentices - it's the Chartered Institute for IT and the professional body for the digital industries.

RITTech registration

All successful apprentices appear on the BCS Professional Register for IT Technicians (RITTech) free of charge, and are entitled to use the RITTech letters after their name.

RITTech is recognised by employers and recruiters, demonstrating a higher level of skills and professionalism across digital and technology industries. RITTech is only awarded to people working at SFIA Level 3 or above standard.

Source: British Computer Society

Find out more about the End Point Assessment (EPA).

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What does a Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) apprentice's journey look like?

Employers should know what’s happening at every step of the apprenticeship. That’s why Firebrand have identified how their employees learn and at which point they’ll get to apply their new digital skills.

How does Firebrand support learning?

Firebrand includes residential training, online training and plenty of work-based support from a dedicated Learning Mentor. Residential and online training is spaced throughout the programme to ensure the apprentice has time to learn and apply skills before moving onto something new.

How do I ensure my employees are always learning?

Firebrand schedules training carefully so that the learner gains skills they can use immediately at work. Residential courses happen from month 3 and are usually an average of 2 months apart. In between, there’s online learning and Learning Mentors activities (e.g. behavioural modules, Functional Skills). All apprentices complete several work-based projects for their portfolio. Learning Mentors support them with writing up each project over a 12-week period.

Help along the way

There are three main sets of people who support apprentices – Firebrand’s Learning Mentors, Course Instructors and Subject Matter Experts. All of them have different responsibilities, but the benefit of Firebrand’s model is that apprentices get really good technical expertise, plus strong guidance on how to complete their apprenticeship successfully.

Apprentices meet their Learning Mentors on the first day and discuss the full apprentice programme in depth. The Learning Mentors begin understanding the learner’s personal approach, level of knowledge and learning style.

Learning Mentors help if the learner is stuck on something. They use their industry experience to guide apprentices in the right direction, helping them solve tasks from a different perspective. While also providing support, Learning Mentors check to see if the required standards are being met when completing work-based projects.

Learning with Firebrand

Apprenticeships combine a full-time job with formal learning. Firebrand’s formal training includes between three and five specialist IT courses. These courses are decided by the employer during the on-boarding process.

When apprentices are on a Firebrand course, they’ll be in Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire at Firebrand’s all-inclusive training centre. They’ll receive accommodation, food and a free shuttle bus from the train station. They then return to work and apply what they’ve learnt, tailoring new knowledge to their organisation’s technologies.

Coming to the end

As apprentices reach the end of the apprenticeship, Firebrand’s Learning Mentors will help them get ready for the EPA.

See the End Point Assessment (EPA) section for more information.

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How do Digital Support Technician (Digital Applications Technician) apprentices progress?

The pace of digital transformation means there’s always going to be new technologies and smarter processes in businesses.

Progress to the next level and learn even more new digital skills. Progression is a natural step in the IT industry and it keeps employee's skills refreshed.

Develop and reinforce technical knowledge by advancing to a higher-level apprenticeship or training on Firebrand’s public courses. Gain certifications on public courses from vendors like Microsoft, AWS and CompTIA.

Level 3

For apprentices at the end of their Level 3 apprenticeship, advancing to Level 4 is the next natural step. Learn further digital skills while in a more specific IT related role. Specialised Level 4 roles include being a Data Analyst, Cyber Security Technologist or Network Engineer.

Rather than just understanding an organisation’s technologies, learn to master them. Level 4 apprentices apply previous skills with new technical knowledge to gain greater responsibility in a digital role.

Take a look at our Level 4 apprenticeships to continue developing your IT career.

Level 4

After a Level 4 apprenticeship, apprentices can enhance certain specific skillsets and gain further product knowledge by taking Firebrand’s public courses. Public courses are the best option after successfully completing a Level 4 qualification. They align individual courses with desired IT skills.

There’s no limit to the number courses that apprentices can take. Continue learning with Firebrand and gain the certifications needed to move into top IT roles at twice the speed. Continue building a professional career in the right way with recognised industry qualifications

Start choosing certifications from over 700 public training courses.

Interested? Complete this form.

Call us to discuss your Firebrand Apprenticeship Now
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