Ten recruits, who fought off competition from more than 100 applicants for a new apprenticeship scheme in high-risk safety management, have started their training with Cleveland Fire Brigade Risk Management.
Aged between 19 and 27, they come from across Tees Valley. As CFB Risk Management’s first Apprentice Site Protection Officers they are on 18 month contracts. They began a three-month training course on Monday February 1 then will join one of the company’s on-site protection teams and work towards an NVQ qualification through a local college.
The new apprentices are Jack Tiernan and Richard Jones from Middlesbrough; Richard Smedley, Sedgefield; Jack Walker and Ryan Teschner from Redcar; Joel McAllister, Skelton; Josh Brown from Marske; Jack Peacock, Darlington; Jordan Craddy, Hartlepool and Thomas Pattison from Billingham.
They come from a variety of backgrounds having worked in a petrol station, tailoring shop, warehouse, hospital pathology lab and customer services. Others had jobs as a pool lifeguard and a plumber with two joining from university with degrees in forensic science and English.
One of the new recruits Richard Jones, aged 19, from Middlesbrough, who was working as a joiner, said: “I was so thrilled to hear I had been successful. My Dad is a fire-fighter, it is something I have always wanted to do and this particular apprenticeship has the advantage of giving me additional valuable qualifications. I know that it will give me a career for life.”
CFB Risk Management, the first community interest company of its kind to be set up in the UK by a Fire Authority, provides a range of risk management services to companies operating in the high-hazard sector.
Site Protection Teams play a key part in providing emergency response to incidents at a client company’s site including the rescue of personnel, first aid and security. The qualifications the apprentices will gain at college include BTEC, Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) and International Trauma Life Support (ITLS).
A growing number of contracts with blue-chip companies in the oil and gas, petrochemical, nuclear and other sectors around the UK and an increasing presence in Europe and the Middle East sees the company heading for a £2m turnover in this financial year.
Managing Director Ian Hayton said: “We now have one of the largest workforces in the UK with the skills and competence to work in high hazard situations, helping companies to protect their workforce, premises and avoid costly disruption to production. We need to maintain that level of skills in the future and our success has enabled us to provide this opportunity for ten young people in our local community. We wish them every success in their apprenticeships.”