National Apprenticeship Week 2021

Apprentice taking part in firefighter trainingAs part of the Government led National Apprenticeship Week (8-14 February 2021), we want to highlight our own apprentices and showcase the important role they play within the organisation, supporting colleagues and helping to keep communities safe.

The Service has a key role to play in the future of all its apprentices by providing training, assessing progress towards achieving qualifications and supporting them during their apprenticeship.

We currently have several different apprentices’ programmes running within the organisation. These include:

Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship

Firefighter trainingThe organisation introduced the Level 3 Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship in 2018.  Since its introduction the Service has supported three cohorts and 30 firefighters on the Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship Programme.

Over a two-year apprenticeship period, the apprentice firefighters complete on programme learning, as part of their apprenticeship, to gain competence in the each of the knowledge, skills and behaviour areas of the apprenticeship standard in preparation for an end-point assessment consisting of:

  • Knowledge test

  • Practical observation

  • Professional discussion

Firefighter and Community Safety Apprenticeship

Firefighter and Community Safety ApprenticeshipWe launched the Firefighter and Community Safety Apprentice role in 2016 and, since its introduction, the Service has recruited three cohorts and 34 apprentices on to the programme. This is an exciting 36-month apprenticeship that will equip apprentices with the skills and knowledge needed to be a firefighter within a modern fire and rescue service.

As part of this apprenticeship programme, apprentices complete a Level 3 Community Safety Advisor Apprenticeship. This is a varied apprenticeship, over a 15-month period, which requires the Firefighter and Community Safety Apprentices to work within the prevention teams across Cheshire. This ensures they understand the important role that prevention activities play in reducing fires and accidents within Cheshire.  Here they learn how to carry out home safety assessments and conduct safe and well visits for the over 65s, within the Cheshire community.  They also become a ranger at the state-of-the-art learning skills centre, Safety Centre, based in Lymm. Here they deliver safety programmes to schoolchildren and adult groups that visit the centre.

The apprentices complete on programme learning as part of their apprenticeship to gain competence in the each of the knowledge, skills and behaviour areas of the apprenticeship standard, in preparation for an End-Point Assessment, consisting of:

  • Knowledge test

  • Practical observation

  • Professional discussion

After successful completion of the Community Safety Advisor Apprenticeship, the apprentices can take on a role as a firefighter, which means they then commence the Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship over a further 2-year period.

Other apprenticeship opportunities

We have a number of individuals within the Service enrolled in learning apprenticeships, which include Level 3 and Level 4 Business Administration Apprenticeships. These apprenticeships are supporting people who already work for the organisation to gain knowledge and skills directly linked to their job role. This will provide them with the opportunity to gain a vocational qualification.

Degree apprenticeships

A degree apprenticeship helps support staff to work full-time whilst studying for a Bachelor Degree (Level 6). This is part of the Service’s “Step Forward” talent management programme to people within the organisation to develop and progress and gain higher qualifications to strengthen leadership across the Service.

We deliver the degree apprenticeships through universities and these combine study with on-the-job learning.

Case studies

For National Apprenticeship Week 2021 we have taken the opportunity to ask some of our apprentices to reflect on their apprenticeship journey, to help give people an insight in to the various roles within the organisation. 

They have shared with us the activities they have been doing while on the learning programme, the areas they have enjoyed the most and how their apprenticeship is helping them work towards achieving their career goals. 

They have also provided tips for anyone interested in being an apprenticeship with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service so please take the time to read about their journeys.

BA (Hons) Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship - University of Chester

BA (Hons) Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship (Executive Fast Track) - Manchester Metropolitan University

Community Safety Advisor Apprenticeship

Last updated: Friday 25 June 2021

Related images

Apprentice taking part in firefighter training
Firefighter and Community Safety Apprenticeship
Firefighter training