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Fire & Rescue Apprentices with Deputy Chief Fire Officer

A fantastic group of young apprentices have been taken on by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service as the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority recognises its role in creating opportunities for young people in Merseyside.

The twelve young people, who are between seventeen years old and twenty-four years old, will spend time with the Prevention teams in Merseyside who work to help protect those more vulnerable to fire. A further two apprentices will be undertaking separate qualifications based within the Finance and Catering Teams at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service headquarters.

The Prevention Apprentices will work alongside staff to complete an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship in Community Safety. This comprises of two level 2 qualifications (Level 2 Certificate in Delivering Community Safety Activities & Level 2 Certificate in Knowledge of Community Fire Safety). The twelve Apprentices will be split across all districts and will work to complete the qualifications in twelve months. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is working with Wirral Met College on the apprenticeship programme.

Speaking on his first day on the scheme, Afraseyab Khan, nineteen, who lives near the Edge Hill area of Liverpool, said: “I was quite nervous before meeting the group of apprentices but now I have I am more relaxed. What made me come here was the organisation. The people who I met at the open day encouraged me. I’m very excited about the year ahead.”

Another of the apprentices, Emily Thomson, who is twenty years old and lives in Aintree, said: “On my first day I was so excited to start. I felt smart and know I looked the part in my uniform.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan said: “I am very proud to welcome our new apprentices into Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service as it has long been an ambition of the Authority to build on the work we do with young people to give them real, tangible job opportunities. Having met them earlier in the week I have no doubt that they will become ambassadors for the Service and we will work with them to ensure that they flourish and they learn from the superb staff we have here.

“Staff at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, including firefighters and our fire prevention team, will mentor the group over twelve months. The programme will provide all participants with the opportunity to secure an accredited qualification, with the young people benefitting from pay which is above the minimum apprentice wage, as is the ethos of a service with our reputation and values.”

Karen Metcalf, Youth Manager who runs the youth engagement programmes at our Service, said: “Three of these young people successfully completed the Prince’s Trust Team programme course in Merseyside, which epitomises what the programme is all about. Others secured the opportunity as a result of attending an open day we held in conjunction with Wirral Met College. They have an exciting year ahead of them.”

Wirral Met College is providing quality assurance for the apprentices as well as Level 2 functional skills such as English, Maths and IT for those who require it.

Sue Higginson, Principal of Wirral Met College, said: “We are really pleased to be working in partnership with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to support these new apprenticeship opportunities. So many young people want a chance to work and train for a career and apprenticeships enable them to do both. I am looking forward to seeing how our apprentices develop and become role models to inspire others to follow their example.”

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