From education to employment

Training provider expands as demand grows for the North East’s only fire and security #apprenticeship

Dave Cash (left) and two apprentices – Louis Armstrong (middle) and Kieran Campbell (right). Provider expands team to increase Access to Security Apprenticeships

Team Valley based Access Training has added to its training team with the appointment of a senior trainer and industry expert in response to the increasing demand for fire, security and emergency systems apprenticeships in the region.

Access currently has 50 apprentices on the Fire, Security and Emergency Systems Apprenticeship, working toward their professional qualification whilst gaining excellent paid work experience as young engineers and technicians at firms from across the North East.

Malcolm Armstrong managing director of Access Training said: “The fire and security sector is a growing industry that plays a vital role in the economy and as a result we are experiencing the highest demand we have ever seen for this course. Adding Dave to our team of trainers means that we can respond to this increased demand and I’m sure the experience he brings will be a great benefit to our apprentices.”

Engineer Dave Cash brings with him 30 years’ experience working within the security and alarms sector with employers including ADT Fire and Security plc, most recently as a field line manager.

Dave Cash, now a security and alarms sector specialist trainer at Access Training, said: “I’m really pleased to have joined the team and it’s great working with the young people at Access Training. We have around 50 apprentices on board this year and each apprentice attends our Team Valley training centre one day per week over the three-year duration of the course. The apprentices come from a variety of employers large and small, right across the region, from Teesside to Northumberland and across to Cumbria.

Kieran Campbell,18, from Chester-Le-Street is a former pupil of St Leonards in Durham where he achieved five GCSEs and a BTEC in engineering. works as a trainee fire and security engineer with The Protector Group, a Team Valley security systems business with offices across the UK.

He said: “I always wanted to get a trade and at The Protector Group I have the opportunity to work on projects including the Metro Centre, healthcare business GSK, Newcastle Central Station and many others. All this at the same time as working toward my Level 3 Apprenticeship and receiving classroom and workshop training from Access Training who provide ongoing help.

“I love it, I’m able to afford to run a car and relax at the weekend with my mates, sometimes playing golf and know I’m working toward a qualification that has already given me a career.”

The Fire, Security and Emergency Systems Apprenticeship, Level 3 is aimed at those wanting a sustainable career in engineering. It provides the opportunity to develop the skills to install and carry out maintenance on a range of security systems including intruder alarms, CCTV systems, access control systems, fire detection systems and emergency pull cords.

Louis Armstrong, also a trainee engineer who works for established SME HN Storey an access control engineering firm based on the Team Valley. Louis passed all six GCSEs at Whickham School, Newcastle upon Tyne before being brought on board by HN Storey as an apprentice engineer in October 2018 working in partnership with Access Training.

Louis said: “I’ve been coming to Access Training once a week since being employed by HN Storey and its been great to get work experience alongside support from a training provider to get my Level 3 apprenticeship in fire, security and emergency systems.”

Louis said: “HN Storey values me enough to work with Access Training supporting me to gain an industry and nationally recognised qualification. I get mentored at work and shadow qualified engineers on site.

“Alongside this I’m learning all about health and safety best practice and will go on to learn more technical and practical engineering skills in a classroom environment at the Access Training Academy. With industry experts like Dave Cash developing me I’m really loving my job and really grateful for the career opportunity.”

Dave Cash said: “There is definitely a demand for engineering skills in the fire and security sector and with our specially equipped facilities we provide practical as well as theoretical training which complements the invaluable workplace experience these apprentices are getting. We have a new group due to start this month, and again in the autumn of 2019.”

For companies that are too small to pay the Apprenticeship Levy the government will ‘co-invest’ in apprenticeship training. The government contributes 95% with employers paying the remaining 5% direct to the training provider. However, if you are a small employer with 49 or less employees, the government will pay 100% of Apprenticeship training costs for 16-18-year-olds.

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