From education to employment

Teenager climbs the ladder at fire and rescue service thanks to North Wales college

A TEENAGER is on the ladder to his dream career as a firefighter thanks to Coleg Cambria.

Iannis Windmill is now an apprentice technician after successfully completing the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service Traineeship Academy at the college’s Deeside site.

Determined Iannis, 18, showed incredible commitment to the programme by commuting via train and bus from Llandudno to Connah’s Quay every morning for six weeks.

He then enjoyed 12 months with the Service – achieving a Level 1 NVQ in Customer Service during that period – before being interviewed for a full-time role in the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) department.

Iannis was praised by Cambria’s Work-Based Learning team, and the Service’s Professional and Service Standards Team Member Stephen Campbell for his dedication and diligence during the process.

He will spend two years on the apprenticeship in the hope of securing a permanent position in the future.

“My dream has always been to become a firefighter, so when I saw the Coleg Cambria was in partnership with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and there was the opportunity to join this traineeship academy, I went for it,” said Iannis, a former pupil at Ysgol Aberconwy.

“It was tough getting up every morning to catch trains and buses to Deeside but if you want something enough, you’ll do it.

“I really benefited from the course and my work placement, and for that to now be a full-time apprenticeship with the ICT team means I can continue to learn and grow as part of the Service.

“I would still love to be a firefighter one day, but for now I am really enjoying this job and would like to thank Cambria and the Service for all of their support.”

Mr Campbell praised Iannis for his attitude since arriving at the Llandudno base and said he was “a real asset” they could not afford to let go.

“Even from his first interview, you could see Iannis was one for the future,” he said.

“When he came on the placement, we gave him the uniform and tried to give him a flavour of what we do, from audits of stations to administrative duties for Professional and Service Standards and eventually, the ICT team.

“That was where Iannis flourished and was a real asset, so when his time with us was almost up – and other trainees – we created the apprenticeship. I’m delighted he was successful in the interview and that he’s a part of the team.”

Alison Roberts, Review and Placement Officer at Coleg Cambria Deeside, said the relationship between the college and top regional partners – including North Wales Fire and Rescue Service – are further strengthened by learners like Iannis.

She added: “We are all so proud of Iannis; the commitment he showed in travelling to Deeside every day and on his placement proved he has the right approach and attitude to work-based learning.

“Courses like this one give young people a good grasp of the career they want to pursue, as well as vital experience and insight, so we are thrilled he has been offered this full-time position.

“I’m sure Iannis will grab the opportunity with both hands and realise his ambition to become a firefighter in the future.”

A spokesperson for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “The Service is getting ready to promote its latest apprenticeship recruitment campaign in the new year, with two great opportunities including Firefighter Apprenticeships and Future Leadership Apprenticeships.

“Further details will be available on our website and social media pages.”

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