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About Finding an Employer

You MUST have an employer before you can start an apprenticeship. You can search for an apprenticeship job here.
If you don't yet have an employer you can still apply for an apprenticeship and we wil try to help you find an employer.


A business administrator plays an important support role within a business organisation. Administrators handle the day-to-day tasks in an office and make sure things run smoothly – 97% of employers say that effective administration is essential to their business.

As a Business Administration Apprentice, your exact duties will depend on your employer. It's likely that you'll be working with a team or member of staff to handle various tasks. You may be producing board meeting documents, putting financial information together in spreadsheets, providing marketing and event management support, sending the daily post, or faxing and photocopying confidential documents. This type of work requires a strong sense of responsibility, accuracy and attention to detail.

One of the great things about Business Administration is that you can work almost anywhere, with your transferable skills; you could be working in a record company, large global organisation or maybe a charity. Administration roles are also an excellent starting point to progress into different market sectors, start your own business or move into management once you have more experience.

Am I ready to start?

Entry criteria varies depending on the framework you are studying and the needs of the employer, but a good level of secondary education is expected and many employers expect you to have maths and English GCSE at a C grade or above. Employers also look for skills like motivation, good interpersonal skills, good communication skills, teamwork and a willingness to learn and will set their own specifications depending on the role.

It may be you don't feel you are ready for an apprenticeship and might benefit from a Traineeship first.

How does an Apprenticeship Work?

The Apprenticeship framework is made up of various elements. Each qualification requires a minimum GLH (guided learning hours) which covers both on and off the job activity. Amount of GLH will depend on qualification, level and pathway.

An assessment plan will be agreed with you and your progress will be monitored and reported on regularly. Information will be shared with your employer. Your course will be achieved through evidence and assessment both within your workplace and Harlow College. College attendance will depend on the level and elements you need to complete for your framework. Workplace visits will be carried out by your dedicated assessor to assess your competence whilst carrying out your job role.

To cover the requirements for each element, assessment will be evidenced through a variety of methods: observation, product, learner statement, case studies, witness testimony, professional discussion, assignment and exam.

The duration of the course is dependent on prior attainment and can range from 12 months to 18 months. You will attend College for 1 day a week and you be in the workplace for the remaining 4 days.

What does the course involve?

Business Administration qualification

You must demonstrate competence within your job role to meet the aims and objectives of the business and criteria set out in the qualification standards, as well as the knowledge required to meet business administration principles. Delivery will be located at Harlow College, through distant learning and within your workplace. Unlike vocational qualifications the competence elements are designed to be assessed in the workplace. Some units will be achieved through written assignments and/or on-line multiple choice tests.

Functional Skills, English, Maths and ICT

These skills include English, Maths and ICT, which are essential for people in order to function effectively within a business environment. You will work towards level 2 in English and Maths, where GCSE A-C or equivalent have not previously been achieved, whereas ICT learners will need to achieve L1 for a L2 apprenticeship and L2 for a L3 apprenticeship. Applicants seeking to undertake the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Business Administration (L4) must be able to demonstrate ability equivalent to or exceeding Level 2 in English and mathematics.

ERR (Employer Rights and Responsibilities)

This part of the framework is achieved through a dedicated unit or an on-line workbook and covers the nine national outcomes in relation to ERR. It covers the knowledge and understanding of employee statutory rights and responsibilities, which are covered by employment law, to include the Equality Act, Employment Rights Act and Health and Safety at Work Act. You must show your understanding of your employer's procedures and how to get further advice and information.

PLTS (Personal Learning and Thinking Skills)

This is achieved as part of the main qualification through class sessions and evidence provided. PLTS covers six areas of independent enquiry, creative thinking, reflective learning, team working, self-management and effective participation.

How and when will I study?


You could train in roles like:

  • administrator/business support officer
  • office junior
  • receptionist
  • junior legal secretary
  • junior medical secretary
  • medical receptionist


You could train in roles like:

  • administration officer / executive
  • administration team leader / office supervisor
  • personal assistant
  • secretary
  • legal secretary
  • medical secretary


You could train in roles like:

  • office manager
  • administration team leader
  • personal assistant
  • business development executive

Down to business, what can I do and what can I earn?

With support, guidance and opportunities in the workplace a Business Administration apprentice can progress onto:

  • The next level apprenticeship in Business Administration or another relevant sector
  • A range of business professional qualifications
  • A range of business and management undergraduate programmes
  • Foundation degrees in such areas as business, business management and business administration

After training, a career path could include, personal assistant, secretary, marketing support assistant, administrative executive, office manager, administration team leader, PA (personal assistant), senior secretary, and marketing manager.

You'll be paid at least the current minimum wage rate for intermediate apprenticeships, but it could be more than that as you progress. Examples of Careers/Job Roles on successful completion of your Apprenticeship include:

  • Business Support £25,000 - £30,000
  • Marketing Assistant £22,000 - £28,000
  • Administration Team Leader £25,000 - £30,000
  • Office Manager £25,000 - £50,000
  • Training and Development Officer £20,000 - £27,000
  • Finance Assistant £18,000 - £24,000

Got a job?

You must have a job to do an apprenticeship. If you already have a job you may be able to do an apprenticeship with your current employer.

If you don’t have a job for your apprenticeship – apply for your place at College by clicking the 'Apply Now' button at the top and bottom of the page.

Once you have applied please check out our apprenticeship job vacancies.

An apprenticeship comprises two parts:

  • Typically 20% study element (at Harlow College or Stansted Airport College).
  • 80% work based element with an employer. It is your responsibility to find an employer.

Great, so what do I do now?

Call 01279 868240 to speak to an Apprenticeships adviser

Contact us about applying for an Apprenticeship