Business & Administration (England)

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Framework details

Framework ID: FR01821
Issue number: 8
Issued: 07 November 2012

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Business & Administration (England)
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Contact name: Matthew Street
Telephone number: 020 7091 9620
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National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) – Statement on Apprenticeship Quality Definition

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.

Around 4.5 million people help to keep businesses running in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. This includes registered directors, company and chartered secretaries, general administrators and specialist administrators who, in addition to general administration skills, also need sector-specific knowledge to fulfil job roles such as legal or medical secretaries. 

Businesses face a number of challenges to replace those who leave or retire and to up skill the existing workforce. Amongst these challenges are:

  • Technological change – in particular the continuing growth of sophisticated IT solutions which are now considered to be essential to effective administration
  • Globalisation – in particular the growth of world-wide communications, trade and competition (which places a higher premium on language and cross-cultural skills) and the influx of immigrant workers from the EU and elsewhere
  • An increasing net demand for skilled Business & Administration staff – although the overall size of the Business & Administration workforce is shrinking, probably due to the impact of technology, there is a high replacement demand. Evidence suggests that between 2004 and 2014 there will be a net demand for up to 1.2 million administrators across the UK
  • Skills Shortages - many current Business & Administration vacancies are hard to fill, often because of skills shortages

Administrators need a broad range of skills to work efficiently and to help increase business productivity. Skills shortages identified by organisations include a lack of office and administration skills, customer-handling skills, technical and practical skills, oral communication skills and IT skills, all of which are covered within the Business & Administration Apprenticeship framework.

Business & Administration Apprenticeships have been in the top twenty Apprenticeship frameworks for a number of years, with around 20,000 apprentices starting the Apprenticeship every year. This Apprenticeship builds on the success of its predecessor by using employer led, up to date, flexible qualifications which meet the changing skills needs of employers. It builds in softer-skills such as communication, team working, interpersonal skills and the ability to reflect on personal learning.


Intermediate apprentices may work in roles such as administrators, office juniors, receptionists/medical receptionists, junior legal secretaries or junior medical secretaries.

Advanced apprentices may work in roles such as administration executives/officers, administration team leaders, personal assistants and secretaries, including legal or medical secretaries.

Higher apprentices may work in roles such as office manager, administration team leader, personal assistant or business development executive.


Tasks undertaken by apprentices will vary depending on the level and sector in which they are employed. Tasks may include producing documents, preparing notes, organising and co-ordinating events and meetings, developing and delivering presentations, providing reception services, using office equipment, setting up and maintaining filing systems, using a variety of software packages, updating information and managing projects. At more advanced levels, tasks may include overseeing operational activities, implementing change within organisations, managing teams, monitoring risk and agreeing budgets.


The framework will contribute to meeting the skills priorities for England set out in the 2009 "Skills for Sustainable Growth" report, by:

  • providing flexible access to high quality Level 2, 3 and 4 skills programmes, which act as a real alternative to GCSEs and A levels (levels 2 and 3) for those who prefer this style of learning and achievement;
  • incorporating skills to improve the general literacy, numeracy and ICT skills in England;
  • using technical and competence qualifications, valued by employers, to help their businesses grow and remain profitable;
  • developing apprentices' Personal Learning and Thinking Skills, to build their confidence and creativity, improving their social and working lives;
  • developing apprentice’s employability skills, making them more attractive to all employers whichever career they choose; and
  • providing a career pathway into jobs and training at technician level and higher, to provide the skills which the economy needs to grow.


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Business & Administration (England)
(PDF document 6.31 MB)