TWELVE young people will be given skills and hope for
their future careers after joining the first ever Greater
Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) apprenticeship
The service is trying to redress the balance for some of the
209,000 young people aged between 16 and 24 in Greater Manchester
with no qualifications.
The enthusiastic group started their year-long journey with
GMFRS this week which will see them gain skills and have greater
options for their futures.
Area Manager Dave Keelan, GMFRS' Head of Prevention, said:
"We're delighted to be able to give these young people a chance by
launching an apprenticeship scheme when the jobs market is so
"By working with Salford City College, the skills we will give
them will be something they can use in a career with us, other
public sector organisations and even in the private sector so this
next year should open up some real opportunities for them.
"It furthers the work we are already doing to improve the lives
of young people through a number of programmes by giving them a
potential route into work.
"Even those who applied and only made it through the first stage
of the application process got to spend some time with us and have
had some training that they should find useful while looking for
other work in the county."
Apprentice Community Safety Advisor Francesca Martinelli said:
"It's amazing to be here and it feels so special to be in this
"My family have had me trying it on for them and I've noticed
people noticing me on the street and on the bus, which shows what
they think of the fire service.
"Now I just want to do a really good job and make my family
The apprentices are young people who have already had some
contact with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, for
example through the Prince's Trust courses, cadets and Fire Fly
following a targeted recruitment campaign.
To support them through the application process, GMFRS even put
on a 10-day pre-recruitment course - run by Salford City College -
to give them an understanding of working with people in the
communities they would serve as well as meeting a Community Safety
Advisor who is already in the job, so they know exactly what the
The skills that the apprentices will gain are transferable and
there are plans in place to support the apprentices in finding work
either with GMFRS or partner organisations such as Greater
Their year will combine working in the communities of Greater
Manchester with classroom learning and, with the support of Salford
City College, they will gain an NVQ in customer service.
GMFRS contacted around 300 young people to notify them of the
opportunity, around 80 responded with 30 making it through the
application stage and attending the pre-recruitment course.
GMFRS is in the initial stages of creating a community safety
qualification with Skills for Justice - the first of its kind in