Press release

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service celebrates National Apprenticeship Week 2024

Apprenticeships week graphic 2024

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is celebrating its firefighting apprenticeships as part of National Apprenticeship Week. 

All new firefighter apprentices take part in a 24-month Level 3 Operational Firefighting Apprenticeship starting with passing an initial 17-week training course. 

Through the operational training, apprentices evidence their knowledge, skills and behaviours including everything from operational skills and competence to community engagement and risk. 

Since the introduction of the firefighting apprenticeship scheme in 2019, 81 firefighters have completed their apprenticeships, with 24 apprentices receiving a Distinction in their End-Point Assessments. 

Alongside our firefighting apprenticeship scheme, the Service has also supported apprentices in a range of specialisms from fitness to vehicle technicians and Human Resources.   

Colette Black, Director of People Services, People Values and Culture for the Service said: 

“There is a myth that apprenticeships are only for people straight out of college and looking to gain qualifications in very specific areas. This simply isn’t the case, as our firefighting apprenticeship demonstrates. 

“The commitment and dedication shown by our apprentices contributes directly to the resilience and effectiveness of our firefighting teams. We are proud to be a part of their professional journey and are excited to witness their continued growth and success." 

“Being able to offer all of our new firefighters an apprenticeship qualification means we’re able to invest in our leaders of tomorrow. Encouraging learning and development at all levels can only ever mean more skilled professionals and ultimately, a safer Essex. 

Tom Jewell was one of the first recruits to go through the apprenticeship scheme in 2019. Now, Temporary Crew Manager for the Urban Search and Rescue team. 

Tom said: “The apprenticeship allowed me to work at my own pace using the tools that I know I work best with, rather than a prescribed method of learning. 

“The advice I would give to anyone going through it, is to enjoy the time in training, form good relationships with your team and use the experience and knowledge from other firefighters who have years of knowledge from attending incidents.” 

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