Frequently Asked Questions

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a mix of on-the-job training with classroom learning. This will allow you to earn while you learn and gain valuable industry-recognised training including 12-24 months of work, experience depending on the level of your programme.

Apprenticeships provide you with the skills you need to build or advance your chosen career and allow you to gain a nationally-recognised qualification. As an apprentice you gain all the benefits of being an employee, with the additional support of a dedicated mentor within the business and a Firebrand facilitator to provide guidance aiding the progression of you apprenticeship.

What qualifications do I gain?

When you complete your Firebrand apprenticeship, you'll gain a nationally-recognised qualification depending on the programme that you've completed. During the programme, you'll receive an exam voucher to allow you to sit one of the relevant professional vendor certifications to your apprenticeship, which can include providers such as Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle or CompTIA to help you to build your professional portfolio.

You'll also be assessed by Firebrand against Ofqal-regulated knowledge modules to support your apprenticeship evidence. Your employer may want to purchase additional exam vouchers so you can achieve more vendor certificates when you've gained relevant work experience.

On achievement you'll also be recognised by the British Computer Society (BCS) for entry onto the register of IT Technicians, confirming SFIA level 3 professional competence.

What jobs can I do?

Your apprenticeship will prepare you for lots of different jobs in the IT world including:

I’ve seen “The Apprentice” will I be fired if I’m not right?

An apprenticeship is nothing like the TV programme “The Apprentice.” Unlike the apprentice we don’t throw you in at the deep end. You have training all the way through your year-long course, and we are constantly assessing your progress with your employer and we will work with your employer to try work through any problems. However in the unlikely event that your employer and you aren’t able to resolve any problems, then they do have the right to terminate your employment.

How much do I get paid?

We recommend starting salaries of £150-250 per week, and any expenses such as travel etc. We also recommend that your salary should be reviewed as you pass exams or complete courses and take on extra responsibility.

How many hours a week will I work?

A 35-hour week (typically 9.00am - 5.00pm) with a one hour lunch break is normal.

Do I get a holiday?

Yes, you will be entitled to the same holiday schemes as the rest of the employees in the business. Typically this will be at least 20 days paid holiday plus statutory days

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job with training, where you learn real marketable skills and gain industry-recognised qualifications. Apprenticeships are open to anyone over 16, not in full time education and they typically last 12-24 months or more.

What does an apprenticeship involve?

This is a real job and requires commitment, hard work and good time-keeping. You will be learning on the job, and during your weeks at the Firebrand Training centre. But you will also be required to do optional preparation for your coursework and exams, which will need to be done in the evening and weekends.

How long does it take?

Apprenticeship courses last 12-24 months and can be started at any time during the year.

What support do I get?

Once you've started your apprenticeship with Firebrand you will be provided with an in-house Mentor. This will typically be a senior member of staff who will provide you with guidance and support throughout your role so if you have questions this will be your go to point of contact. Additionally Firebrand will appoint you with your dedicated Facilitator once you commence your role.

Your facilitator will provide you with guidance throughout the duration of your apprenticeship. They will point out areas to focus on identified within your journal entries, discuss your courses and review any projects set by the Employer for your Technical Competency evidence to ensure you are on track. As your Facilitator is impartial and an employee of Firebrand, you can also ask them for support if you have any questions or concerns during your employment.

Do I pay tax and National Insurance?

Yes, you will be paid by your employer and will be on their pay roll and treated in the same way as the rest of the staff.

What happens at the end of the apprenticeship?

Your employer has a contract with you for 12 - 24 months. When your training is completed they can choose to take you on, or not. However, in a survey carried out by the TUC in 2011 the success rate for IT apprentices was excellent, with more than four out of five (83% of) apprentices working at the same firm a year later.

Will there be homework?

Yes, while you are learning on the job you will need to prepare for exams and will be required to do some optional reading and writing outside of your work hours. But you will still have plenty of time to go out and enjoy yourself spending your hard-earned wages.

Where is the training centre?

This training is held at our residential training centre at Wyboston Lakes in Bedfordshire. You will be at the training centre for five consecutive days, and are expected to arrive on the Sunday, for a course start on Monday morning. If you drive, there's plenty of free parking, and if you have satnav, the postcode is MK44 3AL. The nearest railway station is St Neots and there is a free shuttle bus service on the Sunday between 1.00 - 5.00pm.

Will there be any continuous assessment work?

Yes, as well as the training weeks at our training centre, your Firebrand facilitator will be on site every four weeks to check your progress, and to make sure that everything is going to plan. You will need to fill in a weekly diary that will be emailed to the facilitator, explaining what you’ve done that week and what you've learned.