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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Staffordshire Launches Team Challenge

27/02/2013

Nine of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s young apprentices are aiming to become team of the year in a competition aimed at showcasing the value of apprenticeships across England.

“We are delighted to be able to enter the Brathay Challenge for the first time and believe we have a very strong team. Indeed, selecting our team proved to be a challenge in itself as it was extremely hard to choose just nine of our 21 apprentices.” 

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford.

The Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2013 aims to find the top team and is open to employers, colleges and training providers across the country. No fire service has entered before and Staffordshire – one of the few that offers apprenticeships – will be among the first to take part.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Peter Dartford, said: “Our Apprenticeship Programme is an important part of the role we play in the local community both as trainers and mentors and as employers of young people.

“We are delighted to be able to enter the Brathay Challenge for the first time and believe we have a very strong team. Indeed, selecting our team proved to be a challenge in itself as it was extremely hard to choose just nine of our 21 apprentices.” 

The nine, who are gaining experience in departments including finance, supplies, risk reduction, fire control and workshops, are now developing their challenge bid by working with colleges and schools to raise the profile of apprenticeships and their importance in the workplace both to young people and employers. They have also set up social media accounts on Twitter: @SFRSApprentices and Facebook: sfrsapprentices

Now the team has to develop a community initiative by adopting a local cause and providing practical support or undertaking a project.

James Russell, an apprentice since 2010 is working with the PFI Department and said: “The Apprenticeship Scheme gives you a great opportunity to develop and learn within a working environment. The skills that I have learnt since beginning my apprenticeship have helped me to establish myself as a valuable member of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.”
Apprentice Jack Burton, from Training and Development, added: “Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for young people and employers and should be considered as an alternative to college and university.

“The Brathay Challenge is helping us to develop as individuals and also promote the wider message of apprenticeships to young people. We’re really excited to help young people who may be struggling with their next steps.”

The Service launched its apprenticeship programme in 2010 in conjunction with Stoke on Trent College. Some participants have already completed their apprenticeship and found full-time permanent jobs with the Service.

The Brathay Challenge is organised by the charity The Brathay Trust, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. The challenge is designed to test the non-technical skills and personal attributes apprentices bring to the workplace and which make them a valuable part of any organisation.

Teams must complete their first two tasks and submit their portfolio by April 1. The top two teams from each of the four regions then battle it out for the title over an adventure-packed final from June 10-12 at The Brathay Trust’s Windermere headquarters.

For more information go to Twitter: @SFRSApprentices or Facebook: sfrsapprentices;
http://www.brathay.org.uk/professional-development/develop/apprentice/brathay-apprentice-challenge-2013/