#NAW2018: Apprenticeships can fast track you to your dream career

As part of the 11th anniversary celebrations of National Apprenticeship Week, we’re shining the spotlight on a successful apprentice each day this week, sharing how an apprenticeship works for them.

Today, we’re shining the spotlight on four learners who are currently completing apprenticeships with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Hollie Barlow, Josh Brunning, Zach Burns and Hannah Remelie are all firefighter and community safety advocates with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and are among 23 apprentices who are currently involved in two schemes lead by the Service.

Run in partnership with Warrington & Vale Royal College the apprenticeships are designed to equip people with the skills and knowledge needed to become a firefighter in a modern fire and rescue service.

During the apprenticeship, both frontline firefighting and an in-depth look at the work done to prevent emergencies from happening in the first place are covered.

As well as taking part in operational firefighter training activities, the apprentices will gain level 2 qualifications in community safety, as well as having access to many other qualifications and learning opportunities.

Former Helsby High School pupil Zach Burns said: “Every day is really different. Some days we could be out doing safe and well checks and ensuring vulnerable people have working smoke alarms, and then other days we could be doing operational firefighter training. Our apprenticeship is giving us the foundation we need – we’re learning all of the skills that we need to do the job.”

Hannah Remelie is a former Tarporley High School pupil and currently an on-call firefighter at Tarporley Fire Station. She added: “Completing an apprenticeship with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service gives me the opportunity to work with people from every department in the Service and gives me a greater understanding of how it operates.”

Hollie, a former Weaverham High School pupil, added: “For me, an apprenticeship is an alternative to university that is giving me great practical experience.”

Apprentice Josh Brunning attended Longridge Towers School in Northumberland. He said: “It’s an amazing experience so far. I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter and this apprenticeship seemed like the perfect way for me to do that. I get to do hands-on training and gain good practical experience as part of my apprenticeship, which will enable me to accomplish my dream of becoming a firefighter.”

All the apprentices who complete the 21 month apprenticeship will be offered full-time jobs with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Sam Rogers is the Apprenticeship Coordinator at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service. He said: “We currently have two cohorts of apprenticeships running who are all committed to learning new skills. On completion they will be employed by one of the country’s leading fire and rescue services.

“As well as taking part in operational firefighter training activities, the two groups will gain Level 2 qualifications in Community Safety, as well as having access to many other qualifications and learning opportunities.”

As part of their apprenticeship, Zach, Josh, Hollie and Hannah will travel to Nepal in March to help finish off a much needed Early Years Centre in Kharikhola, a remote Nepalese village near Lukla. Working with the charity Classrooms in the Clouds, the team raised £30,000 towards the project.

To find out how you too can pursue your dream career through an apprenticeship, call Warrington & Vale Royal College Apprenticeship Team today on 01925 494271 or email apprenticeships@wvr.ac.uk.