Showing posts with label Level 4 Apprenticeships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Level 4 Apprenticeships. Show all posts

Thursday, 14 April 2016

5 ways the UK Government is rewarding Firebrand IT apprentice employers

 By Sarah Morgan

With apprenticeship starts making up 22% of the total number of people starting higher education in 2015, the UK Government is accelerating its Apprenticeships reforms in England. Substantial changes in legislation have already been made as part of a wider plan to make apprenticeships more accessible for employers, students and the industry.

Not only are current employers enjoying the financial and practical benefits of hiring an IT apprentice, they’re also taking advantage of the rewards offered by the UK government by doing so. Here’s how employers are benefitting from hiring IT apprentices – and how you could too...

1. Access brand new Trailblazer Apprenticeship programmes

The Trailblazer Initiative has given employers in the IT industry the power to design brand new apprenticeship standards. These standards have been specifically designed by major players and SMEs in the IT sector - so we know that our IT apprentices get certified with the right skills for their employer.

The IT Trailblazer group is constantly developing new standards to bring to the industry, meaning employers and their apprentices know their training programme is right for them. To see a full list of Firebrand programmes, head to our programmes page.

2. Pay nothing on National Insurance

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has scrapped all Employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices under the age of 25. This means that as of April 2016, it’s now even better value for you to hire IT apprentices as a way of bringing new skills to your business.

3. Access the £2.5 billion apprenticeships budget

The UK government has put aside over £2.5 billion towards training apprentices until 2020, according to FE Week. From April 2017, employers who pay more than £3 million in wage bills (less than 2% of businesses) will pay a 0.5% payroll levy to fund apprenticeships in England. Unclaimed funds from contributing employers of the Apprenticeship Levy will be used to support apprenticeships at 5.3 million employers, providing the financial means to upskill and develop their staff with apprenticeships.

4. Get paid to hire IT apprentices

Trailblazer Apprenticeship employers receive up to £10,800 in cash incentives from the government. How much money you receive depends on a few factors, including the size of your business and the age of your apprentice.

5. Only pay a third of all training costs

Trailblazer IT apprenticeship programmes like Level 3 Infrastructure Technician and Level 4 Network Engineer are eligible for maximum funding from the government. This means that for every £1,000 you contribute to your apprentice's training, the government adds a further £2,000 – so you’ll pay a maximum of a third of the costs to train with Tech Industry Gold providers like Firebrand.



With apprenticeships high on the agenda for this government, now’s the time to reconsider how you or your business will be bringing in new tech talent in 2016.



Monday, 14 September 2015

The Government’s Apprenticeship Levy Will Transform Apprenticeships – And Your Workforce

 By Sarah Morgan

Now apprenticeships have reached the top of the government agenda, investing in IT skills for your workforce is more crucial than ever to successful business.

In a bid to encourage British employers to invest in workforce training and create 3 million quality apprenticeships by 2020, the UK government opened consultations last month for plans to impose a tax levy to businesses to fund apprenticeships nationally.

What is the levy and how may it affect my business?


Whilst complete details are still to be released in autumn 2015, the levy is looking to rapidly enhance the skills of the UK workforce and bring to light the substantial economic benefits of hiring apprentices to businesses. 

A short summary of the levy is outlined below, sourced from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills ‘Apprenticeships Levy’ consultation document:

  • The levy is applied to larger employers, proportionate to the number of employees
  • Unused funding from employers that choose not to invest will be redirected back into the national fund, meaning those who do invest are likely to gain more from the levy than they contribute.
  • Funding will continue to be distributed via a digital voucher system to pay for the training required – regardless of size or sector.
  •  Employers can choose which apprenticeship training they purchase and use their vouchers, transferring the purchasing power to them.
  • Apprenticeships will be given equal legal footing with degrees.
  •  Employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices under 25 will be abolished

In brief, the levy holds greater value if you are committed to training your workforce. As larger competitors will have contributed to the apprenticeships scheme, they are less likely to ‘poach’ employees from those who have invested in training and more likely to become self-sufficient in building a skilled workforce.



IT apprentices – your most valuable investment


Businesses need fresh IT talent. According to the Office for National Statistics and Tech Partnership, the UK has over 130,000 vacant jobs across the IT industry per year and no suitable candidates to fill them, meaning it’s becoming increasingly expensive to hire.

With access to over 700,000 unemployed young people (UK Parliament, 2015) and a lack of IT-related degree graduates, now is the time to train either your own staff or external candidates at little to no cost. Apprenticeships are not age-discriminate and you can still receive government funding regardless of how old your apprentice is.

Firebrand can get you the talent – and fast


IT apprentices training with Firebrand will gain up to 38days of accelerated training at twice the speed, leaving more time for them to develop within your workplace. You’ll gain a certified apprentice with multiple industry-recognised qualifications from Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA and ITIL.

With the opportunity to adapt your programme to suit the needs of the business, you also won’t be restricted to the ‘standardisation’ of normal apprenticeship programmes and you can choose which certifications will be most relevant to the job role you design.

It couldn’t be easier for you to take on an IT apprentice – we advertise apprenticeships and we recruit the candidates for you, completely free.

To start your search for an apprentice, head to our website.

Invest in your greatest asset now – fast. 


About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

So you messed up - turn your A-Level results failure into a career opportunity

Haven’t got the A-level results you needed? Don’t worry, this is your opportunity to accelerate your education pathway into a lifelong career in IT.


University is not the only route to your chosen career. IT apprenticeships offer an alternative pathway which will help you leap frog your peers as they trundle off to do a three year degree.

So if you didn't get the A-level results you needed, don't bother with UCAS clearing. Find out why failing your a-levels and choosing a Firebrand IT apprenticeship is the best thing that could have happened to you.

Earn while you learn

During your IT apprenticeship you’ll be paid a starting salary up to £18,000. Upon completing your apprenticeship, starting salaries are typically around £20,000 – with a salary rise of around £3500 a year after that.

Apprenticeships are 33% faster than University degrees

Whilst a typical University degree runs over three years, your Firebrand Apprenticeship runs for two years. You’ll get the skills and qualifications you need 33% faster than your peers.

Plus, with 99% of Firebrand Apprentices ending up in full-time employment following their apprenticeship, you’ll be 3 years into your career by the time your peers are finishing University  looking for their first job. Best of all, no student debt!

Get a real job

You are not just on a training course. This is a real job, with real a business. You will learn business critical skills, and gain years’ worth of real work experience. Did I mention we find the job for you?

No need to trawl through job boards of the local papers. Just give us your details and we’ll match you to an IT job near you.

Avoid £27,000 worth of student debt

While your peers are off racking up £1000s worth of university debt, you’ll working in your chosen career, earning a wage and developing skills that will form the foundation of a successful future.

Earn industry recognised qualifications and get up to £27,000 worth of training

Firebrand Apprenticeships are aligned to the requirements of the IT industry. You’ll train and earn industry recognised qualifications that are in demand by businesses throughout Europe.

Plus, apprenticeships are funded by the Government and your employer. This means you could get up to £27,000 worth of training for free.

Interested? Head over to our website and Apply Now

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Two Firebrand employers (and one Firebrand!) recognised at Microsoft Apprentice of the Year 2015 awards


By Sarah Morgan


Two Firebrand employers, and one Firebrand apprentice, were recently recognised at the Microsoft Apprentice of the Year 2015 awards - hosted by Microsoft UK’s Managing director, Michel Van der Bel.

The annual awards, which highlight the value IT apprentices bring to their businesses, recognised Firebrand apprentice employers: TechQuarters and Gamma. As well as 5G Communications' Firebrand apprentice, Richard Smith.

Judges were impressed with the great attitude apprentices shared with their employers – with many businesses expanding to hire even more talented young professionals.


Michel Van der Bel (left) and TechQuarters’ CEO, Chris Dunning

Gamma get recognised! Gamma employer, Joe Nunn with Michel Van der Bel plus Firebrand apprentices Reece Money and Simon Curren (left to right)



Firebrand apprentice Richard Smith (right),
5G Communications, receives his award
2014’s Apprentice Employer of the Year – Mitchell Fedlman, Cloudamour - spoke at length about apprenticeships, and why 20% of his workforce are now apprentices.

In regards to how apprenticeships shaped his business, Mitchell said, “We want to be vibrant. We want to be energetic…and we are.”

“To sustain rapid growth you need staff…you need apprenticeships.”

2015 marked the 5th anniversary of Microsoft’s Apprentice of the year Awards. Microsoft’s ‘Get-On’ programme has so far helped over 7000 apprentices get employed and trained by Microsoft partners.

Find out more about how to hire a Firebrand apprentice, on a programme with 38 days of Microsoft training and certifications.

Firebrand is the fastest way to develop IT staff with industry-recognised training and certifications worth £10,000s. Expand your business today.


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About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 10 April 2015

Why Microsoft and The Government support IT apprenticeships


By Sarah Morgan


National Apprenticeship Week has been and gone, but many businesses still don’t realise that you can access £10,000s of training for your staff or that you can use apprenticeships to bring new talent and skills into your organisation.


Find out about the benefits of IT apprenticeships from employers and apprentices, and hear from Microsoft, The Government and BCS. That was the agenda of Firebrand’s NAW2015 event, but if you couldn’t make it - here are the highlights.


What’s in it for employers?

Government Apprenticeships Ambassador, Andrew Jones MP kicked off the event with some startling statistics. A record 2 million people from across the UK have become apprentices over the past five years but only 15% of companies have offered apprenticeships.

Andrew Jones MP takes the stage at our event


That is in some ways a bad figure, and in some ways a good figure. If we have made huge progress but only 15% of companies have been engaged - we have an enormous opportunity…we still therefore have to get the message across – ‘Why companies should engage.’” Andrews Jones MP

Andrew Jones is clear; we are succeeding in attracting young people to apprenticeships, but with only 15% of organisations engaged, there is a massive opportunity to get more business on-board.

Here’s why employers should get involved:
  • 88% of businesses report increased employee satisfaction
  • 5 million consumers more likely to make a purchase from an apprentice employer
  • 80% of companies who have taken on an apprentice report a lower staff turnover
  • Reduced recruitment costs
  • Employers benefit by £6000 after the first year of the apprenticeship program
  • 75% of business report gaining highly committed new staff (Microsoft)

And that’s without considering IT apprenticeship funding worth up to £27,000.


What is Microsoft doing for apprenticeships?

Microsoft’s 30,000 partners have faced challenges in hiring new staff, especially without paying £10,000’s in recruitment fees, states Dominic Gill, Microsoft Apprenticeship Lead. ‘Existing routes weren’t working,’ and businesses need to look for alternative options to bring in new talent.

There has been a significant decline in computer science graduates since 2006 – the UK suffering most with a 63% reduction in graduates. Dominic Gill knows apprenticeships are integral in solving the skills shortage, and Microsoft’s Get On initiative is evidence of their commitment.

The success of Microsoft Apprenticeships is astonishing with over 7000 young people starting their careers with apprenticeships since 2010.

And that’s not all. As Dominic concludes – “[Microsoft] are actually looking to start 3,500 new apprenticeships this year.”


Hear from the employers & apprentices themselves

Attendees got the opportunity to learn about IT apprenticeships from the apprentices and employers themselves. Microsoft Apprenticeships Lead Dominic Gill chaired a panel discussion with guests including:

  • Brett Raynes – founder of Cloud Direct and Firebrand apprentice employer
  • Simon Wade – HR manager at 5G communications and Firebrand apprentice employer
  • Richard Smith – apprentice at 5G communications and Firebrand apprentice
  • Kimberley Bolton – Pythagoras Communication and First female Apprentice of the Year Winner, Microsoft Apprentice Ambassador and Firebrand Apprentice


Dom Gill: What made you first start recruiting an apprentice rather than a graduate?


Brett Raynes: I think fundamentally we realised that success was not about whether you had a degree or not it was all about talent and attitude - the usual stuff that would make a success of any recruit you would bring into the company.


Dom Gill: What role did the training provider initially play in the decision process?

Brett Raynes – Firebrand were the inspiration to do it; they helped with the selection…and support for the apprentices when they joined the company…they were absolutely critical to the whole process.


Simon Wade – [Our Technical Manager] was at Firebrand on a training course and he saw all these people scribbling away in a room doing lots and lots of work…and this was about half past six/ seven o clock at night…and he said to someone, ‘who are they?’ and they said, ‘they’re apprentices.’ He came back to work and he said, ‘We’re getting some apprentices.’


Dom Gill: [Towards the apprentices] What do you do day-to-day?


Richard Smith: Myself and the other apprentice sit down and build the solutions for the field engineers…then once we’ve built the solution, the kits brought in and we then program-up the kit for the customers’ requirements...we test in house and we then ship it out to the customer…that’s what we do on a daily basis.


Dom Gill: What would you say would be the most interesting project you’ve worked on?


Kimberley Bolton: Being an Apprenticeships Ambassador with Microsoft…my main thing is trying to get more women into IT…so a chance to be here and be able to speak out and say it can be done, that to me is my best project.

Kimberley Bolton talks IT apprenticeshipsduring the panel discussion



Dom Gill: Any thoughts on how we could attract more women in IT?


Kimberley Bolton: Personally I think it’s about publicity…I don’t think the problem is with the companies, because when I’m at these events and I talk to the companies they want females - It’s not about them worrying that ‘[Women] aren’t going to be as good.’


Meet the apprentices themselves, including Firebrand Apprentice Kimberley Bolton, in the video below:



Keep a look out for the next event!

Make sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ and don’t miss the next employer-focused apprenticeships event!

Employer? Apprentice? Find out more about Firebrand’s IT apprenticeships now.


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About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.