Information Communications Technician Apprenticeship

The Level 3 Information Communications Technician (ICT) apprenticeship is designed for apprentices looking for a career in the operation of IT and/or telecommunications systems, including hardware and software.

Organisations increasingly rely on computer and communications systems in all areas of their operations and decision-making processes. It is therefore crucial to ensure the optimal performance and maintenance of systems. An Information Communications Technician (ICT) is critical to achieving this.

The Information Communications Technician Occupational Standard includes 3 options:
1. Support Technician
2. Network Technician
3. Digital Communications Technician

When Can I Start an Apprenticeship?

Looking for a new career, job or maybe a qualification to take your current role to the next level?

Previously apprenticeships were primarily aimed towards 16-18 year olds but government reforms introduced in March 2017 mean that there is no longer an upper age limit for commencing an apprenticeship, even if you already possess a degree or higher level qualification (all applicants must be eligible for funding).

Starting an apprenticeship is dependent on your age and whether you have secured an offer of an apprenticeship from an employer.

You can apply for an apprenticeship while you’re still at school, but you cannot start until you have officially left school and completed your exams.

You need to be 16 or over by the end of the summer holidays to start the apprenticeship. You may start an apprenticeship at 15 years of age if your 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31st August and provided you have completed your exams.

Provided you have left school and have an employment offer in place, then starting employment as an apprentice can occur throughout the year.

If you successfully apply for a vacancy, you may be able to start employment straight away.

Likewise, if you are already in employment and your employer is looking to train you through an apprenticeship, sign-up and enrolment can take place quite quickly.

However, the start date for attending college for training, where required, or if delivered online, when sessions begin, will vary depending on the type of apprenticeship.

Some apprenticeships will have fixed attendance with training on-campus commencing at the start of the autumn term, with no availability for starting the training mid-year.

For other apprenticeships where the training is delivered entirely online, it may be possible to commence the training immediately.

Whichever delivery method applies, this will be communicated to you and your employer post-employment and sign-up.

Course Info
How to Apply
Employers Info
Parents and Carers Info
Occupation Summary

This occupation is found in organisations, large and small, in all sectors, and within public, private and voluntary organisations.

The broad purpose of the ICT occupation is to deliver efficient operation and control of the IT and/or Telecommunications infrastructure (comprising physical or virtual hardware, software, network services and data storage) either on-premises or to end-users provisioned as cloud services that is required to deliver and support the information systems needs of an organisation.

The occupation includes contributing to the preparation for new or changed services, operation of the change process, the maintenance of regulatory, legal and professional standards, the building and management of systems and components in virtualised and cloud computing environments and the monitoring of performance of systems and services in relation to their contribution to business performance, their security and their sustainability.

The Information Communications Technician makes their contribution through the application of infrastructure management tools to automate the provisioning, testing, deployment and monitoring of infrastructure components.

An Information Communications Technician (ICT) provides support to internal and/or external customers, by using tools or systems to problem solve and trouble-shoot routine and non-routine problems. This occupation supports clients/customers with their systems. They achieve this through monitoring and maintaining the systems and/or platforms to maximise productivity and user experience.

An ICT could be installing and configuring computer systems, diagnosing hardware and/or software faults, solving technical and applications problems, either remotely or in person. Some examples of these issues are slow performance, connection problems, and an inability to access data.

The work of an ICT involves undertaking a vast array of specialist roles supporting business critical requirements and focus on customer solutions. Networking, Server, IT Essentials, Secure Communications, programming, and databases are just an example of typical tasks and projects undertaken within the likely areas of employment.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a wide variety of internal or external users of digital systems, through digital channels, remotely and/or face to face.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for prioritising systems support tasks as they arise and for monitoring and maintaining system performance. They may work alone or as part of a team but will escalate problems in line with their organisation’s policies and Service Level Agreements. For example, if the task may not be completed on premise, it may have to be referred to an external specialist.

Support Technician

The Support Technician role is desk based resolving system user queries and resolving faults in a helpdesk environment. For example, a Support Technician in a Travel Agent would use a system to manage their customer bookings and when the system fails it needs rectifying rapidly in order to reduce the financial impact and damage to customer reputation. The business would contact a Support Technician to report the problem and either get it fixed or escalated to an engineer.

Network Technician

A Network Technician role is usually desk based but may involve visits to client’s premises to resolve issues. For example, a Network Technician working in a university or a college they may be installing a computer lab as a training suite including cabling and hardware requirements. They may be required to install cloud services to support a business expansion and provide better network services.
In a contact centre environment, they may use network management tools to collect and report on network load and performance statistics to improve commercial outcomes.
In a retail bank they may contribute to the implementation of maintenance and installation work using standard procedures and tools to carry out defined system backups, restoring data where necessary.

Digital Communications Technician

A Digital Communications Technician may be desk or field-based resolving faults and issues with communications systems. For example, working in a defence organisation operates as an Online Network Technician they would be at the heart of every mission solving complex issues, enabling the secure exchange of mission critical and often Top-Secret information. It would be their responsibility to administer and provide specialist communications and IT equipment including classified information and cryptographic material to guarantee Operational Capability is delivered to the Command.

A digital communications technician working for a large telecom’s organisation could be involved in the build, test and integration of end-to-end customer solutions to support customer order delivery. Not to mention the build, test and maintenance of core and mobile radio access networks, working with both internal and external customers.

A digital communications technician working for a large telecom’s organisation could be involved in the build, test and integration of end-to-end customer solutions to support customer order delivery. Not to mention the build, test and maintenance of core and mobile radio access networks, working with both internal and external customers.

Entry Requirements

What are the entry requirements?

Individual employers may set their own selection criteria, but is likely to include 5 GCSEs (9-4) with English, Maths and a Science or Technology subject. Alternatively, a relevant Level 2 apprenticeship and experience; or an aptitude test with a focus on IT skills.

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Assessment

This document sets out the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the Information Communication Technician apprenticeship standard. It explains how EPA for this apprenticeship must
operate. It provides the EPA design requirements for end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs). It will also be useful for apprentices undertaking this apprenticeship, their employers and training providers.

The Occupational Standard includes 3 options:
1. Support Technician
2. Network Technician
3. Digital Communications Technician

EPA must be conducted by an EPAO approved to deliver EPA for this apprenticeship standard. Each employer should select an approved EPAO from the Education & Skills Funding Agency’s Register of
end-point assessment organisations (RoEPAO). Full-time apprentices will typically spend 18 months on-programme (before the gateway) working towards this occupational standard. All apprentices must spend a minimum of 12 months on programme. All apprentices must spend a minimum of 20% of on-programme time undertaking off-the job training.

Before starting EPA, an apprentice must meet the gateway requirements. For this apprenticeship they are:
• the employer must be content that the apprentice is working at or above the occupational standard
• apprentices must have compiled and submitted a portfolio of evidence to underpin the professional discussion
• for level 3 apprenticeships and above apprentices without English and mathematics at level 2 must achieve level 2 prior to taking their EPA.

The EPAO must confirm that all required gateway evidence has been provided and accepted as meeting the gateway requirements. The EPAO is responsible for confirming gateway eligibility. Once this has been confirmed, the EPA period starts. This EPA should then be completed within an EPA period typically lasting four months. This EPA consists of two discrete assessment methods. It will be possible to achieve the following grades in each assessment method:

Assessment method 1: Professional discussion underpinned by portfolio
• Fail
Pass
Distinction

For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and Mathematics minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. British Sign Language (BSL) qualifications are
an alternative to English qualifications for those who have BSL as their primary language.

Assessment method 2: Project report with questioning
• Fail
Pass
Distinction

Performance in the EPA will determine the overall apprenticeship standard grade of:
• Fail
• Pass
• Merit
• Distinction

What Can I Do Next?

What can I do next?

Successful candidates may progress onto a higher apprenticeship or gain full-time employment.

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:

  • RITTech for 3
College Attendance

How often do I have to attend college?

Attendance at college one day per week (Wednesday) 9:00am to 13:00pm. In addition to this, approximately 4 hours of self-study and work-based evidence gathering per week will also be required.

Before you proceed to apply for an apprenticeship, please read through the information which relates to your age group below, and then select the correct application button from the menu located further down the page.

Aged between 15 and 18

The application window for joint applications for full-time courses and apprenticeships starting in September 2024 is open from Monday 2nd October.

In order to study an apprenticeship you must have an employer willing to take you on as an apprentice and have an offer of employment in place by September, ready for enrolment.

The information below applies to those:

  • currently in year 11 and looking to study on an apprenticeship upon finishing school
  • currently in year 11 and looking to make a joint full-time and apprenticeship application, so that both options are available to be pursued upon finishing school (although you can apply for both options you will eventually need to choose between a full-time programme or apprenticeship, you cannot do both at the same time)
  • currently in year 12* on a full-time course and looking to find an apprenticeship to start after the end of the summer term

If you are interested in an Apprenticeship but do not yet have a contract of employment from an employer, we strongly advise you to apply for a full-time programme as well so you have a back-up. We will process both your full-time application and apprenticeship application until you inform us that you have secured an employer and have an Apprenticeship contract in place, at which point your apprenticeship application will take priority.

If you do have an employer with an Apprenticeship contract of employment in place, we still strongly advise that you apply for a full-time programme as well so you that you have a back-up in case this falls through.

Once you have read the above please click the red button underneath. Then click the button ’15 – 18 Years – Apply Online’ in the menu underneath this section and you will be taken to the next stage of the application process.

*If you are currently in year 12 and 13, but looking to find an apprenticeship and switch mid-year then please contact our Apprenticeship Admissions Team where they will advise you on suitable vacancies.

If you are unsure about any of the above and would like to speak to our apprenticeships team directly then please contact us using the below:

01206 712043 – Applicant Enquiries or email:

Aged 19+

In order to study an apprenticeship you must have an employer willing to take you on as an apprentice and with an offer of employment in place.

Please read through the information below and follow the information that applies to your current status.

If you have found an employer willing to take you on as an Apprentice and they are ready to put a contract of employment in place, please click the red button located underneath this section, which will take you to the first stage of the application process. Then click the button ’19+ Years – How to Apply’ where you will be taken to the next stage of the application process.

I am already in employment and my employer would like to put me through an apprenticeship

If you are already in employment then please contact our Apprenticeship Admissions Team where they will work with you and your employer to complete the sign-up and enrolment onto the programme.

01206 712043 – Applicant Enquiries or email:

I don’t have an employer

If you do not have a contract offer of employment from an employer in place then there are other options available to you:

Apply for a vacancy

Employers can recruit for apprentice positions all year round. We have apprenticeship vacancies listed on our website throughout the year in a variety of industries and with employers small, medium and large.

View our live vacancies

Join Our Talent Pool

All you have to do is complete and submit our Talent Pool application form, attend a pre-screening assessment/interview and be available when contacted. We will then send your details along with your profile to employers looking for an apprentice, inform you if you are selected for interview, and send you guidance to prepare you for interview.

Join our Talent Pool

If you are unsure about any of the above and would like to speak to our apprenticeships team directly then please contact us using the below:

01206 712043 – Applicant Enquiries or email:

Employer Application Enquiries

If you would be interested to find out more about how this apprenticeship can work for your business or already have a member of staff who this apprenticeship would be perfect for please contact us using the ‘Hire an Apprentice: Enquire Here’ button in the menu below.

Information for Employers

How is my business going to benefit from an Information Communications Technician Apprentice?

How can I fit this apprentice into my business?

Apprentices will demonstrate the following knowledge, skills and behaviours.

Knowledge

K1: Approaches to back up and storage solutions

K2: Basic elements of technical documentation and its interpretation

K3: Principles of root cause problem solving using fault diagnostics for troubleshooting

K4: Principles of basic network addressing for example binary

K5: basic awareness of the principles of cloud and cloud-based services

K6: fundamental principles of virtual networks and components

K7: principles of cultural awareness and how diversity impacts on delivery of support tasks.

K8: methods of communication including level of technical terminology to use to technical and non-technical stakeholders

K9: different types of maintenance and preventative measures to reduce the incidence of faults

K10: key principles of security including the role of People, Product and Process in secure systems for example access and encryption requirements

K11: fundamentals of physical networks and components

K12: approaches to documenting tasks, findings, actions taken and outcome for example, use of task tracking and ticketing systems

K13: basic awareness of legislation in relation to disposal of waste materials for example Waste Electronic and Electrical regulations (WEEE)

K14: fundamental principles of operating systems, hardware system architectures and devices

K15: principles of remote operation of devices including how to deploy and securely integrate mobile devices into a network

K16: fundamental principles of peripherals for example: printers and scanners

K17: principles of virtualisation of servers, applications and networks

K18: principles of disaster recovery, how a disaster recovery plan works and their role within it

K19: principles of Test Plans, their role and significance

K20: fundamentals of purpose, creation and maintenance of asset registers

K21: approaches to system upgrades and updates and their significance

K22: approaches to interpretation of log files, event viewer and system tools

K23: basic elements of network infrastructure architectures including WiFi and wired networks

K24: Principles of OSI layers

K25: Principles of cloud and network architecture (including Wi-Fi)

K26: Principles of DNS / DHCP

K27: Awareness of Cloud platforms, such as AWS, Azure, or GCP

K28: Principles of LANs and WANs

K29: Approaches to virtualisation of servers, applications, and networks

K30: Principles of network protocols

K31: Principles of API’s and Web Services

K32: The different types of cloud storage

K33: Back up procedures and their importance

K34: Principles of databases and migration

K35: Key principles of Cloud Security and firewalls

K36: Awareness of DevOps methodology and tools, such as Puppet, Chef, Git, Docker

K37: Basic elements of network communication architectures for example, hardware, software, protocols and connection mediums.

K38: awareness of the purpose of firewalls

K39: different types of connectivity and cabling for example physical and remote

K40: awareness of network protocols

K41: The purpose of digital communications technologies for example, hardware, virtual and cellular technologies

K42: Main factors affecting network performance including faults and error control

K43: Principles of digital test and diagnostic equipment usage

K44: Basic principles of VPN and Remote Access Security for example transmission technologies

Skills

S1: Interpret and prioritise internal or external customer’s requirements in line with organisation’s policy

S2: Apply the appropriate tools and techniques to undertake fault finding and rectification

S3: apply Continuous Professional Development to support necessary business output and technical developments

S4: Operate safely and securely across platforms and responsibilities maintaining the security of personal data of internal and external stakeholders

S5: Communicate with all levels of stakeholders, keeping them informed of progress and managing escalation where appropriate

S6: Develop and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues, customers and other relevant stakeholders

S7: Manage and prioritise the allocated workload effectively making best use of time and resources

S8: Complete documentation relevant to the task and escalate where appropriate

S9: Install or undertake basic software upgrades,either physically or remotely

S10: Establish and diagnose the extent of the IT support task, in line with the organisation’s policies and Service Level Agreements

S11: Provide remote/F2F support to resolve customer requirements

S12: Maintain a safe working environment for own personal safety and others in line with Health & Safety appropriate to the task

S13: Identify and scope the best solution informed by the system data associated with the task

S14: Test and evaluate the system’s performance and compliance with customer requirements.

S15: Escalate non routine problems in line with procedures

S16: Use basic scripting to execute the relevant tasks for example PowerShell, Linux

S17: Carry out routine maintenance across systems, (such as IT, Communications), ensuring organisational compliance at all times

S18: Apply the necessary security, in line with access and/or encryption requirements

S19: Use a range of Cabling or Connectors equipment in line with technical requirements for example physically or remotely

S20: Test and evaluate network environments

S21: Monitor performance and usage of a network

S22: Deploy applications on a network

S23: Set up storage and data access for staff

S24: Apply necessary security measures, in line with access requirements to a network

S25: Carry out routine maintenance across network systems, ensuring organisational compliance

S26: Monitor network-related workloads including DNS and firewalls

S27: Install or undertake basic upgrades, either physically or remotely

S28: Establish digital communication or telecommunications systems through, for example cabling and connecting equipment.

S29: Identify a range of tools and or diagnostic equipment, for example, Hardware or Software components, to resolve Communications or Telecommunications requirements.

S30: Undertake basic telecommunications activities, in response to an allocated task, designated responsibilities, instructions or customer’s requirements.

S31: Use information necessary to identify operational issues and rectify or escalate accordingly in line with policy

Behaviours

B1: Works professionally, taking initiative as appropriate and acting with an ethical approach

B2: Communicates technical and non-technical information in a variety of situations to support effective working with internal or external stakeholders

B3: Demonstrates a productive and organised approach to their work

B4: Self-motivated, for example takes responsibility to complete the job.

What about support in the workplace?

Once they have started their programme, the apprentice will require mentoring and help in satisfying the requirements for endpoint assessment. This will involve: assisting the apprentice in assembling the portfolio to ensure that it meets the entire standard and is to a good quality; working with CI to choose a suitable project that will demonstrate the learning and allow the learner to carry out the project outside day-to-day work; provide a reference letter setting out your view on the quality of the apprentice’s work.



Apprenticeships FAQ

How is my business going to benefit from an Apprentice?

Fill your skills gaps: an Apprentice’s training is tailored to your organisation’s needs, resulting in a loyal, motivated work force Increase productivity by developing staff skills and expertise.

Value for money: a cost effective way to attract new talent and fresh eyes into your organisation.

Cost saving: we can advertise your vacancies and recruit the best candidates for your needs.

An industry recognised professional qualification can be built into the course which your apprentice will bring back to the business, providing value for money and a return on investment in their career as well as bringing back up to date knowledge from college.

What is expected of the employer?

When taking on an apprentice, there are certain expectations that must be met by the both the employer and the apprentice. As the employer, you are expected to:

  • Pay the minimum wage for an apprentice
  • Provide a full contract of employment for your apprentice
  • Offer the same benefits package to your apprentice as other employees
  • Arrange for a workplace mentor for your apprentice
  • Deliver a safe working environment
  • Ensure opportunities are made available to allow the learning of new skills and knowledge within the apprentice’s contracted working hours
  • Ensure the apprentice is given opportunities within contracted working hours to develop maths and English skills, where a GCSE grade A-C (or higher) has not been previously attained

What will this cost my business?

Levy paying employers can access levy funds to pay for this programme, and our blended learning model can contribute to the 20% off- the-job training requirement.

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 has changed the way that government funds apprenticeships in England. All businesses operating within the UK with a wage bill of over £3million are required to contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy.

  • If the levy applies to your business you will be required to pay 0.5% of your entire wage bill into the levy. This will be offset against a levy allowance worth £15,000 for each tax year.
  • You will only be able to use your levy payment for government backed apprenticeships.
  • Levy payments will expire after 18 months.

Speak to an Advisor at CI Business Solutions on 01206 712727 to make your levy payments work for you.

Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Where applicable, non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship.

An employer contribution fee will be required for:

  • All non-levy paying employers recruiting an apprentice aged 22 or over*

*For non-levy paying employers full government funding is available for an apprentice aged between 16-21 years old and apprentices aged between 22-24 years old who have either an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or has been in the care of their local authority, where the employer employs less than 50 employees. 

Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

What about support in the workplace?

Skilled and knowledgeable staff must be available to support the apprentice in the workplace.

Does the apprentice have to attend college?

College attendance where required will be communicated post-application and enrolment.

Why should I choose Colchester Institute to support my recruitment and retention?

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex. We are experts at connecting the right people, to the right training, to the right business – and when it comes to Apprenticeships, our Apprenticeship Advisors can support your business every step of the way.

As part of our comprehensive service, we offer:

  • Fee-Free Recruitment Service: We offer recruitment assistance at no cost to you.
  • Advertisement of Apprenticeship Vacancies: We’ll promote your apprenticeship opportunities to attract the right candidates.
  • Application Management: We handle applications according to your unique criteria, ensuring a streamlined process.
  • Candidate Matching: Leveraging our extensive network, we can identify and recommend suitable candidates.
  • Pre-screening: We conduct initial assessments to ensure candidates meet course requirements.
  • Advice on Grants and Funding.

In addition, our team provides:

  • Dedicated Account Manager: You’ll have a single point of contact for personalised support.
  • Industry-Experienced Trainers: Our trainers bring real-world expertise to deliver high-quality training.
  • Bespoke Programmes: We can tailor apprenticeship programmes to align with your business goals.
  • Essex Priority Skills Focus: Our programmes are designed to address the priority skills needs of the Essex region.
  • Free Employer Events: Take advantage of networking opportunities and stay updated on industry trends through our free events.
  • Personalised Apprenticeship Levy Advice: Receive expert advice tailored to your specific needs.
  • Ongoing Support: Our team conducts regular visits, providing support and guidance to both you and your apprentice.

Partner with Colchester Institute to unlock the full potential of apprenticeships for your business. Let us help you find the right talent and develop the workforce you need for success.



Off-The-Job Training FAQ

Off-the-Job Training (OJT) is one of the key requirements for all apprenticeship standards.

Apprentices must spend 20% of their contracted working hours undertaking Off-the-Job Training, which is defined as “learning undertaken outside of the normal day-to-day working environment and leads toward the achievement of an apprenticeship.”

Off-the-Job Training must be directly relevant to the apprentice’s programme and teach them new knowledge, skills and behaviours that will help them reach competence in their occupation and ensure that apprentices are actively learning and working to attain the required knowledge and skills within their sector while enrolled in their placement program.

What does Off-the-Job Training Look Like?

Off-the-Job Training must account for at least 20% of an apprentice’s contracted working hours within their full-time employment as an apprentice.

This means that their time might be broken down like the below:

  • 5 x 7 working hours in a day = 35 working hours in a week
  • 52 working weeks in a year x 35 working hours = 1820 total working hours in a year
  • 20% Off-the-Job Training requirement of the 1820 hours = 364 hours dedicated to OJT over the course of the apprenticeship
  • This is also equivalent to the apprentice spending one day per week during their 12-month apprenticeship undertaking Off-the-Job Training

The above depends on their contracted working hours within the day and/or working week, as well as the length of their programme.

For example, Apprentices working more hours in the day and the week, as well as those whose programmes are longer than 12 months in duration, then their Off-the-Job Training requirement will still consist of 20% of their contracted hours but the total number of working hours and total time dedicated to OJT will be different the above.

Why is Off-the-Job Training Conducted within the Apprentice’s Contracted Hours?

An apprenticeship is a work-based programme, and any training that contributes towards an apprentice’s development should be included in their contracted working hours.

The Department for Education (DfE) has said that it would be unreasonable to expect an apprentice to undertake training that is part of their apprenticeship in their own time, therefore if training must take place outside of the apprentice’s working hours, then this should be recognised by both the Employer and Training Provider.

An example of this would be if an apprentice has to attend a 2-hour lecture scheduled after their working hours, then arrangements should be made by the training provider and employer for the apprentice to make up the time by leaving work 2 hours early.

What does Off-the-Job Training Include?

Off-the-Job Training can include a number of activities that can take place on or off the employer’s normal work premises.

If you are unsure of whether an activity can be regarded as Off-the-Job Training, the below questions form a useful point of reference:

  • Is the activity directly relevant to the apprenticeship?
  • Is the activity teaching new knowledge, skills and behaviours?
  • Is the learning taking place in the apprentice’s contracted working hours?

If the answers to the questions are all yes, then this counts as towards OJT. These can include:

The Teaching of Theory

This can include lectures, role playing, simulation exercises, online learning, manufacturer training and so on. Teaching theory should help the apprentice better understand their role, the topics and subjects relevant to their role and their sector in more detail.

Practical Training

This can include shadowing, mentoring, industry visits, attendance at competitions and so on. This training should practically train the apprentice and teach them skills that they can use in their current job or in a future position.

Learning Support

This refers to learning support provided by the Employer or the Training Provider. Some apprentices may require more assistance in their programme to help them reach their best potential. This includes time spent conducting projects, writing assignments and so on.

Learning support counts towards OJT to ensure that all individuals have the support needed and that all barriers to education and training are removed. This could include:

  • physical adjustments
  • access to accessibility software
  • additional revision classes
  • personal support from their Training Provider.

Time spent on assignments is also included in OJT as new knowledge, skills and behaviours can be developed while completing them.

While OJT takes place outside of normal working duties, it is possible to undergo OJT at the apprentice’s workstation. For example, OJT could include learning to use a new machine or undertaking e-learning. While conducting this training, normal working duties should not be required of the apprentice.

Off-the-Job Training can also take place at home via distance learning. If there is a program of study that the apprentice can complete online that contributes to the completion of their apprenticeship, as long as the learning package is included as part of a blended learning programme, this can be counted as an OJT activity.

The activity that the apprentice undertakes is the main focus of OJT. As long as the OJT activity actively contributes to the completion of the apprenticeship, the location matters less than the activity itself.

Essentially OJT is Employers or Training Providers setting aside time for the apprentice to improve themselves, their knowledge and/or their skills.

Off-the-Job Training cannot include:

  • Enrolment
  • Induction, including any basic safety, compliance or diversity training
  • Training to acquire knowledge, skills and behaviours that are not required in the standard or framework
  • Progress reviews or on-programme assessment needed for an apprenticeship framework or standard
  • Training which takes place outside the apprentice’s working hours*
  • English and maths (up to level 2) which is funded separately
  • Time spent on compulsory activities in the apprenticeship, including time spent on English and Maths qualifications

(*although, as mentioned before, there are exceptions if this time is made up within their working hours)

The government acknowledges that apprentices will inevitably want to spend time outside of working hours to familiarise themselves with their work. However, any personal initiative shown by the apprentice will not count towards Off-the-Job Training.

Any time that an apprentice takes to conduct OJT is counted towards their normal working hours. That means that if an apprentice is interested in undertaking training outside of their working hours, they should ask their Employer and Training Provider first and see if arrangements can be made to accommodate this.

Preparing for Off-the-Job Training?

It is the responsibility of the Employer and Training Provider to ensure that the apprentice spends 20% of their apprenticeship undertaking Off-the-Job Training. Completion of OJT must be documented and evidenced in order for the apprentice to complete the apprenticeship.

In order to comply with the funding rules, each apprentice should receive a commitment statement from the Employer/Training Provider outlining the program of training the apprentice will receive and how the Employer/Training Provider intends to spend the Off-the-Job Training time. The recipient of ESFA funding (usually the main provider) should keep, update and maintain the relevant files.

The ESFA will remain flexible about the type of evidence that should be retained and provided. They want Training Providers and Employers to use naturally occurring evidence where it is available. Many Training Providers have their own systems of collecting and storing evidence. Some examples of naturally occurring evidence might include:

  • Apprentice timesheets
  • Training logs
  • Registers
  • HR training systems

For more details and examples on how to proceed with Off-the-Job Training, you can click here to see the full OJT document from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.



Funding and Financial Support FAQ

How is the Apprenticeship funded?

The Government funds apprenticeships using the apprenticeship funding rules in place on the date the apprenticeship started. This applies to all employers, both those who pay the apprenticeship levy and those who do not.

Employers choose the training they would like their apprentice to receive throughout their apprenticeship. All new starts must follow an approved apprenticeship standard.

Each apprenticeship standard is in a funding band. These funding bands range from £1,500 to £27,000.

Employers can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training.

The amount you get depends on whether you pay the apprenticeship levy or not. You pay the levy if you’re an employer with a pay bill over £3 million each year.

Every employer who pays the levy has a digital account where they can access their levy funds to spend on apprenticeship training.

While only the biggest businesses pay the levy, the funding generated by it also funds apprenticeship training for other employers who want to take on apprentices.

For smaller employers – those with a total annual pay bill of less than £3 million – government funding pays between 95% and 100% of the apprentice training costs, up to the funding band maximum.

What will this cost my business?

Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Where applicable, non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship.

For new starts from 1 April 2024, for employers who do not pay the levy, the government will fully fund apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum for apprentices who at the start of their apprenticeship training are aged between:

  • 16 and 21 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August)
  • 22 and 24 years old and: – has either an education, health and care (EHC) plan provided by their local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority; and – their employer has fewer than 50 employees

For starts before 31 March 2024, for employers who do not pay the levy and have fewer than 50 employees, the government will fully fund apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum, for apprentices who at the start of their apprenticeship training are aged between:

  • 16 and 18 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August); or
  • 19 and 24 years old and has either an education, health and care (EHC) plan provided by their local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority

Non-levy paying employers taking on an apprentice who does not meet the above age and eligibility criteria will be required to pay the 5% co-investment fee.

An employer contribution fee will be required for:

  • All non-levy paying employers recruiting an apprentice aged 22 or over

For more information about funding bands, please visit Apprenticeship Funding Bands.

Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

You’ll make payments directly to the training provider and agree on a payment schedule. Payment plans and schedules can be discussed with our apprenticeship Account Managers prior to signing contracts. For more information about apprenticeship contribution fees please contact one of our Apprenticeship Advisers on 01206 712043.

Apprentice Minimum Wage

A National Minimum Wage for apprentices was introduced on 1 October 2010. The wage applies to all apprentices aged under 19; and apprentices aged 19 or over in the first year of their Apprenticeship.

As of April 1st 2024 the national minimum wage for apprentices is £6.40 an hour and applies to time working, plus time spent training that is part of the Apprenticeship. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. Apprentices must be paid at least the national minimum wage rate if they’re an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed their first year.

Employers are free to pay above the new wage and many do so, but employers must ensure that they are paying their apprentices at least the minimum wage. If an apprentice is on a higher wage, the employer must continue to pay that for the remainder of the training or until the apprentice becomes eligible for the full national minimum wage.

You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 21 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 20 and under

Current rates

These rates are for the National Living Wage (for those aged 21 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age). The rates change on 1 April every year.

 21 and over18 to 20Under 18Apprentice
April 2024£11.44£8.60£6.40£6.40

Apprentices

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Example: An apprentice aged 21 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £6.40.

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both:

  • are aged 19 or over
  • have completed the first year of their apprenticeship

Example: An apprentice aged 21 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £11.44

Previous rates

The following rates were for the National Living Wage (previously for those aged 25 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age) from April 2016.

From 1st April 2021 the National Living Wage was extended to 23 and 24 year olds and from 1st April 2024 the National Living Wage was extended to 21 and 22 year olds.

Financial Information and Support

Government support

Employers are not required to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions for an apprentice, if the apprentice:

  • is under 25 years old
  • is on an approved UK government apprenticeship standard or framework (these can differ depending on UK country)
  • earns less than £967 a week (£50,270 a year)

Employers with fewer than 50 people working for them will be able to train 16-18-year-old apprentices without making a contribution towards the costs of training. The government will pay 100% of the training costs for these individuals.

Funding

The government will pay employers, no matter what size, £1,000 for each 16-18 year old apprentice they employ.

Eligibility 

All employers are eligible for a £1,000 payment for taking on an apprentice who is either:

  • aged 16 to 18 years old
  • under 25 and has an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority

This £1000 payment will be paid to your training provider and you will receive it from them.

When you’ll get paid

We’ll send the payment in 2 equal instalments for each apprentice.

To be eligible, your apprentice must complete:

  • 90 days of their apprenticeship for your first payment
  • 365 days of their apprenticeship for your second payment

Once the apprenticeship information has been checked, we will process the payments.

Payments will be made on the 14th working day of the month, it can take up to 3 days for the payments to reach your account.

You can track when your payments are due to be paid on your view applications page.

We cannot send any payments until we’ve received and verified the organisation and finance details. This could take up to 80 days.

The apprenticeship levy
The levy was introduced on 6 April 2017 and is charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employers’ pay bill, paid through PAYE on a monthly basis.

Each employer has a levy allowance of £15,000, this is not a cash payment. It works in a similar way to the personal tax allowance and cannot be used to purchase apprenticeship training.

The impact of the allowance means that fewer than 1.3% of UK employers, those with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million, are liable to pay the levy. Employers in England who pay the levy
will be able to get out more than they pay in, through a 10% top-up to their online accounts.

An employer’s pay bill is made up of the total amount of the employees’ earnings that are subject to Class 1 National Insurance contributions, such as:

– wages
– bonuses
– commissions
– pension contributions

What about non-levy paying employers?

Employers with a pay bill of less than £3 million a year will not need to pay the levy.

At least 90% of non-levy paying employers’ apprenticeship training and assessment costs in England will be paid for by the government. The government will ask these employers to make a 5% contribution to the cost, paid directly to the provider, and the government covers the rest. This cost will be spread over the lifetime of the apprenticeship.

For new starts from 1st April 2024, where the employer does not pay the apprenticeship levy, the government will fund all of the apprenticeship training costs, up to the funding band maximum, for apprentices who are aged between 16 and 21 years old when they start their apprenticeship training. This removes the need for non-levy paying employers to pay the 5% co-investment cost of training if they meet the below:

  • Employers who do not pay the levy, if at the start of their apprenticeship training the apprentice is aged between 16 and 21 years old (or 15 years of age if the apprentice’s 16th birthday is between the last Friday of June and 31 August).
  • Employers who do not pay the levy and have fewer than 50 employees, if at the start of their apprenticeship training the apprentice is aged between 22 and 24 years old and has either an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan provided by local authority and / or has been in the care of their local authority.

Non-levy paying employers taking on an apprentices who does not meet the above age and eligibility criteria will be required to pay the 5% co-investment fee.

Apprenticeship funding changes for SMEs

As of the 1st of April 2024, the government will now fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses by paying the full cost of training for anyone up to the age of 22 (previously only up to 18) – reducing costs and burdens to the business and delivering more opportunities for young people to kick start their careers.




Apprenticeships - Parent's FAQ

As a parent, you want the best for your children and that often means helping them to make the right decisions regarding their future (including what to do after school/college). There are a lot of options for school leavers and with such a competitive job market, a professional apprenticeship could be the right answer to ensure your son/daughter secures a career well-suited to their specific wants/needs.

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex and can boast achievement rates higher than national averages. This section aims to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get from parents and carers about apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships give your child the chance to work towards a fully paid qualification from Level 3 (A level equivalent) to a university degree whilst training for a high skilled job. Plans to introduce more Higher Apprenticeship routes will provide learners with a real choice between work-based and traditional degree education.

The Facts

  • The apprenticeship is designed by employers giving apprentices the skills directly relevant to the job role
  • Apprentices study for around one day a week, or in a block. Some apprentices do not attend college and complete learning through our online platforms
  • Courses can last from 1 year to 6 years if completing a degree apprenticeship
  • All tuitions fees are paid by the government and the employer
  • Apprentices are becoming the future leaders
  • Employers are looking for initiative and enthusiasm as well as grades
  • Apprentices will learn the skills employers look for but say that graduates seeking employment don’t always have:
  • Creativity, Communication, Problem Solving, Project Management and Team Work
  • 90% of apprentices stay in work when they finish
  • 71% of apprentices remain with the same employer
  • 83% of parents say they would do a degree apprenticeship themselves if they could wind back the clock
  • Apprentices must be employed for between 16 and 40 hours per week

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a job, with formal training that will enable your son or daughter to earn nationally-recognised qualifications whilst earning a wage Experience is the key to a great career and by putting the job at the heart of what an apprentice learns, we ensure that they learn the skills that employers really needs them to have.

As of April 1st 2024 the national minimum wage for apprentices is £6.40 an hour and applies to time working, plus time spent training that is part of the Apprenticeship. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. Apprentices must be paid at least the national minimum wage rate if they’re an apprentice aged 19 or over and have completed their first year.

Employers are free to pay above the new wage and many do so, but employers must ensure that they are paying their apprentices at least the minimum wage. If an apprentice is on a higher wage, the employer must continue to pay that for the remainder of the training or until the apprentice becomes eligible for the full national minimum wage.

Government funding is available to cover the cost of most apprenticeships, which means your son/daughter will not have to pay for any of their training – they will be debt free! Our apprenticeships last between one and six years (depending on which programme the apprentice chooses) and we provide progression routes from GCSE all the way to degree and MSc level qualifications with our own University Centre Colchester.

Will I lose any of my benefit entitlements if my child commences an apprenticeship?

Tax credits will not be affected by your child entering on to an apprenticeship; however, child benefit payments will stop once your child reaches 16 years old and officially leaves school year 11 and enters employment to commence the apprenticeship.


Information Communications Technician Apprenticeship
Course Outline: Information Communication Technicians support internal and external customers when using technology as part of their jobs,

If you are ready to make an application then please select the correct application button from the menu below.

LevelLevel 3
LocationColchester
DurationApproximately 18 months.
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Additional Cost Information

Optional Qualification: CompTIA A+
£292 (2 exams at £146 per exam)

Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£15,000
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£750

Disclaimer

All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2023-24 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.