IT Application Specialist (England)

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Framework details

Framework ID: FR03506
Issue number: 7
Issued: 29 July 2015

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IT Application Specialist (England)
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Issued by

Contact name: John Pritchard
Telephone number: 0207 7963 8920
Please download the framework for email contact information.


An Apprenticeship is a job with an accompanying skills development programme designed by employers in the sector. It allows the apprentice to gain technical knowledge and real practical experience, along with functional and personal skills, required for their immediate job and future career. These are acquired through a mix of learning in the workplace, formal off the job training and the opportunity to practice and embed new skills in a real work context. This broader mix differentiates the Apprenticeship experience from training delivered to meet narrowly focused job needs.

On completion of the Apprenticeship the apprentice must be able to undertake the full range of duties, in the range of circumstances appropriate to the job, confidently and competently to the standard set by the industry.

In January 2011, e-skills UK now the Tech Partnership published Technology Insights 2011, which summarised the findings of research to provide an in depth understanding of the existing IT & Telecoms landscape and forecasts of the future based on the best available intelligence, including new input from over 2000 employers. The research highlighted that:

  • IT user skills are required for over 72% of job roles;
  • Over 90% of new posts specifically require IT user skills;
  • Making the most of technology is arguably the single most important step that can be taken to improve productivity across the whole economy, resulting in a potential uplift of £50 billion to GVA over the next 5 years
  • One in ten employers consider there are skills gaps in the skills of their IT Users, particularly at level 3
  • Over the next 5 years, employers are anticipating increased activity in the usage of mobile computing / applications and virtualisation, new implementation of 'Green IT', and rapid development of new technologies to support business process management.
  • The need for increased security and data protection remain one of the key drivers for up-skilling the workforce

This all means that there will be an increasing number of jobs whose principal activity will be using IT to support their organisations’ customers, people and processes.

This framework provides the apprentice with the competence, skills and knowledge to work effectively and efficiently with IT systems, communication and productivity tools and software applications. This includes the creation and amendment of many types of formatted information including documents, diagrams, spreadsheets and presentations. It also includes maintaining simple websites, using the internet to find and exchange information and using social media to disseminate information.

While the main role of the Apprentice on this framework is the application of IT this may occur in the context of a range of situations and industry sectors such as:

  • Office/Business Administration
  • Accounts departments
  • Publishing or multimedia
  • Sales and Marketing departments
  • Education and training

However it may be that the apprentice’s job title does not properly reflect this since 'IT Application’ is not a traditional job description. Job titles still tend to focus on historical associations with a particular sector rather than the actual content of the job in the modern workplace. In this situation careful consideration must be given as to the suitability of this framework.

Where the application of IT is subsidiary to, or is merely supportive of the main job role then an appropriate job specific framework should be preferred. This IT Application Specialist framework should be used only where it is clearly capable of providing complete coverage of the Apprentice’s role.

This framework reflects new reality in the workplace by concentrating on the application of IT to solve problems and increase productivity. Any necessary role and sector content is enabled by the availability of Specialist and Bespoke Software units and also the ability to include sector specific units.

In addition to traditional data entry clerk and VDU operator job titles some more current IT-related job titles are beginning to emerge such as:

  • iHub Clerk
  • IT/Web Technology Officer
  • ICT Technician
  • IT Support
  • IT Change Assistant
  • IT Clerk

An Intermediate Apprentice should be considered where the range of software applications is limited, or the activities to be carried out are mainly routine in nature. The flexible design of the ITQ allows for a particular application specialism e.g. in word processing or spreadsheets at Advanced level within an overall Intermediate framework. The addition of underpinning knowledge, personal learning and thinking skills and functional skills ensures the Apprentice can not only apply IT but is also literate, numerate and able to solve problems and work in teams as required.

The Advanced Apprentice will be prepared for job roles requiring in-depth knowledge and competence in the application of a range of systems and/or software applications, and to deal with non-routine and unfamiliar problems. They will demonstrate wide-ranging transferable skills and the ability to develop and test solutions to improve workplace productivity through the application of IT.



Download framework

IT Application Specialist (England)
(PDF document 2.75 MB)