Oct 2012

Young people begin year-long journey as first GMFRS apprentices

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.

Fire and Rescue Service apprenticesThe 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 futures.

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 difficult.

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 them.

"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 uniform.

“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."

Francesca continued:

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.

Fire and Rescue Service apprenticesTo 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 Manchester Police.

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 the country.

Are you ready to get involved?

The Prince's Trust is keen to forge even stronger links with the Fire Service.

For more information contact George Martin, Fire & Rescue Service National Liaison Officer, on 01282 456796. Or email:

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