Network Engineer Apprenticeship


Who is it for?

The Network Engineer Level 4 Apprenticeship has been developed for Network Technicians, Network Engineers, Systems Engineers and Network Administrators. The primary focus of a network engineer is to design, install, maintain and support communication networks within an organisation or between organisations. Network engineers need to maintain high levels of operation of communication networks in order to provide maximum performance and availability for their users. They will understand network configuration, the cloud, network administration and monitoring tools, and be able to give technical advice and guidance.

What are the entry requirements?

The entry requirements for the award are normally: Level 2 certification in Mathematics and English and level 3 certification equivalent to 48 UCAS Tariff points (e.g. 2 A Levels at grades DD). Applicants without the required qualifications but sufficient work experience will be considered on application.

Employer Requirements:

  • Provide apprentices with a contract of employment for the duration of the apprenticeship on the first day of their apprenticeship and be paid at least a wage consistent with the law for both the time they are in work and in off-the-job learning
  • Employer must not ask the apprentice to contribute financially to the direct cost of learning
  • Provide the apprentice with paid time to attend off-the-job training, including additional support for English and Maths, or support accessed for learning difficulties and/or disabilities
  • Recognise that the apprentice must complete the apprenticeship within their working hours
  • Ensure apprentice spends at least 20% of their time in off-the-job-training
  • Enter into a contract with Staffordshire University
  • Support the apprentice to gain new skills

Apprentice Requirements:

  • Be in full-time employment for at least 30 hours a week
  • Be an employee (have a contract of employment for the duration of the apprenticeship) on the first day of their apprenticeship and be paid at least a wage consistent with the law for both the time they are in work and in off-the-job learning
  • A citizen of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA**) or have the right of abode in the UK, and have been ordinarily resident in the EEA for at least the previous three years on the first day of learning
  • Not be enrolled on another apprenticeship at the same time
  • Has the right to work in England
  • Able to complete the apprenticeship in contracted working hours
  • Be in a new job role (nine months or less), or in an existing job role, where significant new knowledge and skills are needed - employer statement of justification needed (relevant to the apprenticeship)

What qualification will be achieved?

On completion of the programme, apprentices achieve a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Network Engineering. The 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.

Overall Apprenticeship Grade: Distinction / Merit / Pass / Fail

How long is the apprenticeship?

The typical duration of the apprenticeship is 2 years.

When does the course start?

Apprentices can start in September, January and May.

When do they attend lessons?

Apprentices will attend a one-day induction at the beginning of the apprenticeship before the launch of the first module. There is a four-day module launch for each learning block in September, January and May.

What happens in the module launch?

The module launch is designed to provide apprentices with an overview of the module and its assessment. There will be a number of presentations, activities and the opportunity to get to know your tutors and other apprentices as well as a tour of the library and other university facilities.

How is the Apprenticeship assessed?

The final, end point assessment is completed in the last few months of the apprenticeship. It is based on the following elements:

  • A portfolio - produced towards the end of the apprenticeship. This will contain evidence from real work projects which have been completed during the apprenticeship which, taken together, cover the totality of the standard
  • A project - giving the apprentice the opportunity to undertake a business-related project over a one-week period away from the workplace
  • An employer reference - taking the form of a structured interview with an assessor, exploring the work produced for the portfolio and project

How much will it cost?

£18,000 payable over two years - this is inclusive of fees for the end point assessment. For smaller businesses who will not pay the apprenticeship levy, the Government will pay 90% of the fees. Incentives are available for small employers with fewer than 50 employees when they employ an apprentice between the ages of 16-18.

What will the apprentice study?

The programme will cover a broad range of topics including the following:

  • Core skills for computing
  • Network Fundamentals
  • Wireless Networks - local area, wide area
  • Operating Systems
  • Network Security

Register your interest

To discuss how higher and degree apprenticeships can benefit your business contact our apprenticeships team on 0800 169 2148 or email

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