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GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has welcomed on board a group of young people who’ve secured jobs with the Service after completing an apprenticeship programme.
The news comes as figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that in the last three months of 2014 (October to December) nearly one million young people in the UK were not in education, employment or training.
During their 12-month apprenticeship, the youngsters got involved in a range of activities to help make the community safer as well as secure valuable skills and experience – and now seven of them have got full-time jobs at GMFRS.
GMFRS introduced its apprenticeship scheme as a pilot in October 2012 and, due to its success, a second programme started in November 2013 with Manchester College.
Those to secure jobs after successfully finishing the 2013 apprenticeship programme are: Michael Dunn, Mathew Alsop, Sophie Williams and Anthony Maunder who are Community Safety Advisors, and Laura Broughton, Lee Waddicor and Michael Ryan who are Business Safety Advisors – all who started their new jobs on Monday, February 16, 2015.
Twenty-year-old Michael Dunn who lives in Burnage is pleased to be in full-time employment with GMFRS and is now looking forward to fulfilling his role of Community Safety Advisor (CSA).
Michael said: “I am very happy with this opportunity to work full-time with GMFRS. I’ve worked really hard through my apprenticeship and it’s clearly paid off and I’m now looking forward to taking on more responsibility and meeting new challenges.
“My new CSA role will see me visit members of the community, including those who are vulnerable, carrying out Home Safety Checks that includes fitting smoke alarms and giving advice that can save lives in the event of a fire.
“Before becoming an apprentice I supported the Service and began my pathway with the fire service when I joined a Prince’s Trust programme in 2013, when I spent two weeks working with the Corporate Communications at Fire Service Headquarters.
The youngsters’ success comes just weeks ahead of the next intake of apprentices starting their year-long programme with GMFRS, which also coincides with National Apprenticeship Week.
Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor David Acton, said: “We are proud to be able to offer so much opportunity for young people through our schemes, to help them grow as individuals and also allow them to give something more to the communities of Greater Manchester.
“A long-lasting pathway of skills development and opportunities has been created over the past few years at GMFRS, from volunteering to youth programmes and more recently traineeships and apprenticeships.
“We can take someone at school age and provide them with a whole range of experiences to give them skills that employers benefit from – with many now working at GMFRS and in other organisations after successfully completing an apprenticeship with us.”
The apprenticeship scheme is just one of the Service’s pathway initiatives aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour while preparing and supporting young people into education, training and employment.
Other Youth Engagement initiatives on offer with GMFRS include Community Fire Cadets, Firefly and Prince’s Trust programmes, which provide priceless skills and experience and can lead to an apprenticeship opportunity.
Trudy Burrows, Head of Apprenticeship Development at The Manchester College, said: “We work closely with local employers to develop high quality apprenticeships, offering young people the chance develop work-based skills while gaining a qualification.
“I’m pleased the apprentices at GMFRS have made such a good impression and that their hard work has paid off.”
More information about the available initiatives can be found on the Community section of GMFRS’ website - http://manchesterfire.gov.uk/community_work/