From education to employment

Fire Security Careers Day & Recognition for Apprentices at SERC

Group of 25 fire and security apprentices pictured with employers outside South Eastern Regional College Lisburn Campus

School leavers and potential employees met with apprentices, industry employers, manufacturers and representatives of the UK Fire and Security Industry at South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) Fire Security Careers Day at Lisburn Campus recently, to find out about the apprenticeship supported by the Northern Ireland Fire Security Employers Federation (NIFSEF) and careers in the fire and security industry.

Seventeen (17) employers and manufacturers were on hand to give potential apprentices and employees the opportunity to find out what it would be like to work in the fire and security industry, as well as discover the type of roles they could be doing as a first-year apprentice or by transferring into the industry.

Robin Hamill, Lecturer in Fire & Security at SERC said, “We were delighted with the turnout and the support from industry. Our event aimed to raise awareness amongst young people, school leavers, and experienced workers – who may be considering a change of career – about this exciting growth industry which encompasses fundamentals of electronics, IT and electrical skills, and builds on knowledge that may have been gained at school or in employment.”  

He added, “Four visitors to the event were invited for interview by employers for apprenticeship positions and successful candidates will complete their apprenticeship studies through SERC.”

The event also gave SERC the opportunity to recognise the College’s first cohort of Level 3 Fire Systems Apprentices which had been postponed due to the pandemic.   Robin continued, “Our first cohort of apprentices are well established in the industry, and it was brilliant to invite them back to the College with their employers.  

“This group of 25 former apprentices will be the first in Northern Ireland to be issued with an Electrotechnical Certificate Scheme Fire Emergency Security Systems (FESS) Gold Technicians Card – evidence of competency ahead of forthcoming new legislation for the Construction and built environment industry as part of the ongoing Grenfell Tower inquiry.”

Trevor Jenks, SSAIB Training Manager said “I was delighted to attend the careers day to promote the Fire and Security industry in Northern Ireland and to recognise those who have successfully completed their apprenticeship joining the ranks of Fire System Technicians.”

He continued, “SERC is leading the way in promoting the new ECS Industry Competency Skills Card for the Fire and Security Industry here in Northern Ireland. The initiative will enhance business and career opportunities for both Employers and Technicians who can be confident that they can tender and complete work, throughout the United Kingdom, providing their clients with proof of their competency.”

To celebrate their success, the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM) has offered each apprentice a year’s Technical Membership to the IFSM, which will support them throughout their career with continuing professional development and assure employees and customers of their continued competency.

SERC and their Fire apprentices have enjoyed fantastic success this year again, with six SERC Fire apprentices’ winning through to the national qualifiers at the FIREX United Kingdom Fire Competition. Two of whom have now qualified for place in the WorldSkills Final later this year.

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