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:
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 and (where applicable) professional certification.
Firebrand's resident authorities on all areas of the IT industry will host subject-specific webinars, advise on project development and provide additional live learning and masterclasses to support all levels of learning. This gives apprentices the additional knowledge and insight needed to turn a passing grade into a Merit or Distinction.
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. They also undertake a six-month professional behavioural programme, Impact.
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.
An apprenticeship is a recognised benchmark of skills and knowledge that allows an apprentice to:
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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:
Software Tester apprentices are taught how to design and prepare test plans and conduct software testing to ensure that software is fit for purpose.They develop a good understanding of the software lifecycle and software development practices.
Successful Software Tester apprentices go on into roles such as a Software Tester or a Software Test Analyst.
Upon completion of their Software Tester apprenticeship, individuals will be able to:
Upon completion of their Software Tester apprenticeship, individuals will understand:
Apprentices will achieve one vendor qualification.
This is a level 4 apprenticeship
This apprenticeship is recognised for entry onto the register of IT technicians confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence and those completing the apprenticeship are eligible to apply for registration.
The duration of this Firebrand apprenticeship is 13 months. We recommend that apprentices are employed for a minimum of 16 months to ensure that their employment covers the End Point Assessment.
Once apprentices have completed their apprenticeship they are officially recognised by the British Computer Society (BCS) for entry onto the Register of IT Technicians, confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
We'll deliver all the knowledge apprentices need to learn for each knowledge module in the Standard through our Lecture | Lab | Review delivery. Apprentices then attend a Syllabus Review Session to cover the knowledge content covered in the apprenticeship standard.
The information below outlines the training curriculum delivered for each Knowledge Module through Firebrand's residential classroom-based training and online learning modules.
Upon completion of Knowledge Module 1 & 2, Software Tester apprentices will:
Read through the full curriculum for Firebrand's classroom-based training and supporting online learning modules below.
Module 1: Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming
Module 2: Understanding General Software Development
Module 3: Understanding Web Applications
Module 4: Understanding Desktop Applications
Module 5: Understanding Databases
ISTQB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing:
Total time: 31 hours 28 minutes
Total time: 31 hours 28 minutes
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.
Apprentices don’t need lots of experience to enroll 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 enroll on a programme:
Individuals can enroll 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.
We recommend having five GCSEs, including English and Maths, though we'll help apprentices meet the minimum criteria before the apprenticeship starts. However, there are alternatives open to apprentices if the criteria hasn’t been met.
Individuals can enroll on an apprenticeship without GCSEs. They'll need to achieve a Level 2 or above in a Functional Skills test prior to the apprenticeship. We'll arrange the delivery of the test to apprentices before they start.
Individuals need to be learning new digital skills, not re-learning old ones. Firebrand’s digital programmes may not be suitable if candidates have extensive work experience or an IT-based degree in the area that is being upskilled.
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.
Our block-release approach allows apprentices to acquire an entire skillset in one out-of-office period, rather than gaining skills incrementally in a day-release model. Residential training allows apprentices to immerse themselves in a specific product and understand how it can be effectively applied to tasks in their workplace, making them instantly more skilled and productive on their return.
The total cost of this apprenticeship programme is £18,000. How much you pay as an employer will depend on whether your business pays into the Apprenticeship Levy. Read below for to learn more about how apprenticeships are paid for.
Firebrand’s approach to apprenticeships and the breadth and depth of our course content means we deliver knowledge beyond the standard for every apprentice. Apprentices on our standard programmes receive exactly the same training, from the same skilled instructors, as industry professionals attending on a commercial basis; this is reinforced by more than 3000 online learning course options and support from Learning Mentors and Subject Matter Experts with senior-level industry experience. Set against the funding cap, this overall training package represents exceptional value for money.
Our standardised cost model accommodates a high degree of flexibility, allowing employers to adjust the content of their training package to include required skills or products. We'll work with employers to make sure their package is comprehensive, covering business training needs while minimising any incremental costs incurred through change requests.
There's no additional charge for accommodation and food provided as part of our residential training delivery.
Where employers have an annual paybill over £3million, they'll pay 0.5% of that total paybill into the Apprenticeship Levy. Payments are made on a monthly basis, and they’ll show in the company's Apprenticeship Service account as soon as they’re made.
Through co-investment from the government, Levy-paying businesses receive an extra 10% top-up in their Apprenticeship Service accounts. This means every £1,000 will be increased to £1,100 in value. See how Levy payments work below:
If an employer's annual paybill is under £3million, the government pays for 90% of the total training costs, meaning you can access award-winning accelerated IT training at a fraction of the cost when you invest in apprenticeships. See how non-Levy payments work below:
An End Point Assessment (EPA) is the final step in the apprenticeship journey for employers and apprentices. The assessment allows apprentices to demonstrate that they've developed all the competencies (skills), knowledge and behaviours outlined in the Standard to prove they're able to do the job they've been training for throughout their programme.
EPAs are delivered by independent End Point Assessment providers. The British Computer Society (BCS) is the organisation that assesses all Firebrand apprentices - it's the Chartered Institute for IT and is the professional body for the digital industries. 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.
The EPA lets apprentices map out their digital skills by looking at examples of their best work. It’s designed to bring together all the completed work and skills they’ve learned into one portfolio. Upon completing their EPA, apprentices receive a grade for their hard work, either Pass, Merit or Distinction. The EPA is a chance for apprentices to prove to their employer, themselves and the assessor that they have certain knowledge and skills which have been officially recognised.
While working in a new role, Firebrand Learning Mentors will help apprentices collect evidence of their best work. This is called the Summative Portfolio and it’s submitted as evidence of their digital skill development. The Summative Portfolio can be written, image-based, audio or video – whatever medium helps apprentices get the point across best.
Apprentices complete a Synoptic Project as part of the EPA. ‘Synoptic’ means a general summary so it’s a learner's chance to test their new knowledge. The Synoptic Project applies new learning to problems outside a normal working environment. Apprentices spend three to five days away from work completing different skill-related projects. Firebrand Learning Mentors will then help submit the best project to the BCS as part of their overall portfolio.
All employers are required to write unique references for their apprentices. They should demonstrate how they've applied the knowledge, competencies and behaviours in the projects they've been given at work. Firebrand will work with employers with guidance and a template to help them complete this throughout the apprenticeship programme. It's a great opportunity for employers to detail the rewarding relationship they’ve built with the learner, which is a reflection on their time as a valuable member in the team.
All completed work is sent to the BCS, along with an employer’s reference. Apprentices then finish the EPA with an interview from an assessor at the BCS. This is a chance for apprentices to discuss all their completed projects and explain how they’ve developed the skills to meet the digital apprenticeship standard.
Employers help prepare the apprentices for EPA, while also reinforcing their new digital skills. By writing a reference, employers get to detail what value-adding projects apprentices are working on and the benefits of their new professional relationship.
Engaging in regular one-to-one’s also keeps employers informed and lets apprentices provide updates on what skills they’ve learnt and how they plan to use them in their role
Firebrand’s Learning Mentors guide apprentices and employers along the way. The Learning Mentors make sure the learner’s EPA submission is the highest quality of work possible.
While also supporting the employee's learning, Firebrand provide various resources for employers, like a template for their employer reference. This makes the process easier and lets employers focus on writing the best reference they can.
RITTech is recognised by employers and recruiters, demonstrating a higher level of skills and professionalism across digital and technology industries. With 'RITTech' after their name, it proves individuals are competent at what they do (RITTech is only awarded to people working at a SFIA Level 3 or above standard) and it shows they care enough to apply to be on this register.
RITTech status demonstrates quality and professionalism for the individual, who they work for and to their customers. Employees with RITTech have proven they care about what they do, and the people who employ them will care as well. Some organisations even use attainment of RITTech as part of their professional development measures.
Source: British Computer Society
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As apprentices reach the end of the apprenticeship, Firebrand’s Learning Mentors will help them get ready for the EPA.
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.
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.
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
While apprentices benefit from new digital skills they can use in their job, almost all digital apprenticeships that Firebrand offer provide the chance to gain industry recognised qualifications.
Apprentices gain qualifications through either BCS or Vendor specific exams where applicable. These qualifications add to a professional career and can be used to help move seamlessly between roles in the IT industry.
All relevant exams that will be achieved during this apprenticeship are listed below: