Young people begin year-long journey as first GMFRS
Twelve young people will be given skills and
hope for their future careers after joining the first ever Greater
Manchester Fire and Rescue Service apprenticeship scheme.
The service is trying to redress the balance for some of
the 209,000 young people aged between 16 and 24 in Greater
Manchester with no qualifications.
The enthusiastic group started their year-long journey with
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) this week which
will see them gain skills and have greater options for their
Area Manager Dave Keelan, GMFRS’s Head of Prevention, said:
"We're delighted to be able to give these young people a chance by
launching an apprenticeship scheme when the jobs market is so
By working with Salford City College, the
skills we will give them will be something they can use in a career
with us, other public sector organisations and even in the private
sector so this next year should open up some real opportunities for
"It furthers the work we are already doing to improve the lives
of young people through a number of programmes by giving them a
potential route into work.
"Even those who applied and only made it through the first stage
of the application process got to spend some time with us and have
had some training that they should find useful while looking for
other work in the county."
Apprentice Community Safety Advisor Francesca Martinelli said:
“It’s amazing to be here and it feels so special to be in this
“My family have had me trying it on for them and I’ve noticed
people noticing me on the street and on the bus, which shows what
they think of the fire service."
Now I just want to do a really good job and
make my family proud.
The apprentices are young people who have already had some
contact with GMFRS, for example through The Trust's Team programme, cadets and Fire Fly following a
targeted recruitment campaign.
To support them through the application process, GMFRS even
put on a 10-day pre-recruitment course – run by Salford City
College – to give them an understanding of working with people in
the communities they would serve as well as meeting a community
safety advisor who is already in the job, so they know exactly what
the role entails.
The skills that the apprentices will gain are transferable and
there are plans in place to support the apprentices in finding work
either with GMFRS or partner organisations such as Greater
Their year will combine working in the communities of Greater
Manchester with classroom learning and, with the support of Salford
City College, they will gain an NVQ in customer service.
GMFRS contacted around 300 young people to notify them of the
opportunity, around 80 responded with 30 making it through the
application stage and attending the pre-recruitment course.
GMFRS is in the initial stages of creating a community safety
qualification with Skills for Justice – the first of its kind in