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FIA introduces the class of 2010

Published on 19 May 2010
Apprenticeship is an on job training to prepare fire fighters of the future
UK is a world leader in fire safety industry

Now in its third year, the apprenticeship scheme is designed to bring young people into fire protection in a bid to ensure that the UK retains its reputation as one of the world's leading lights in fire safety.

Graham Ellicott, CEA of the FIA, comments: "In the UK we are justifiably proud of our fire safety record and the expertise that we have here.  But we know the vital importance of attracting new blood to ensure that this continues. The UK is seen as a real fund of technical knowledge and expertise and we need to invest in training the next generation of fire safety engineers to keep the threat that fire poses both to life and to property under control"

The FIA works with Skills for Security on the Apprentice Scheme which is aimed at candidates aged 16-24 and is available through six participating colleges in Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Uxbridge, Yeovil and Bristol.  The new intake will start in September.

The apprenticeship is a combination of practical on-the-job training and theoretical learning, with the employer, many of whom are members of the FIA, providing workplace training and the college delivering the learning outside of the workplace.  The financial commitment from the company is to pay the apprentice's wage costs, with all funding for the college tuition and the fees relating to the NVQ qualification (18 months to achieve a Level 2 grade and three years to gain Level 3) met by Skills for Security.

Graham Ellicott continues: "apprenticeships are very much back in vogue as a means of creating a workforce for the future which not only has the theoretical knowledge, but also many of the skills that can only be gained through the workplace.  For our members to get involved, it is a very cost effective way of investing in their own businesses, as well as helping to ensure that the future of the fire industry is in safe hands."

Becky Reid, Marketing Manager with the FIA said: "We are working closely with employers, training organisations and the job centres in the six regions where the courses is being offered.  We need school leavers not only to realise that the apprenticeship scheme is available but, importantly, that there are real career opportunities in fire protection at a time when they are considering what to do next."

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