Fire Industry Encourages Apprenticeship Pathway To Bridge Skills Gap

Global professional membership body, the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) has joined forces with leading training facility, The Fire Service College (FSC), to boost the number of new entrants to the profession during National Apprenticeship Week. In a bid to drive recruitment and encourage young talent, the industry bodies are demonstrating the varied and diverse career opportunities that derive from apprenticeships.

Following the introduction of The Fire Safety (England) Regulations on 23rd January, fire engineers are more in-demand than ever before and a crucial resource across all aspects of fire safety in new and existing residential building developments. Following the outcome of Phase 1 of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry, the new legislative framework will see the UK’s fire industry change dramatically, encouraging a collaborative effort when it comes to fire safety. Changes to current regulations have increased obligations for responsible persons, subsequently uncovering a massive requirement for competent and qualified professionals across all aspects of fire safety.

The apprenticeship pathway offers a solid foundation in which to grow a prosperous career within the sector and being confined to a firefighter role is a common misconception. Fire engineers cover a huge range of jobs from being first response to designing products, conducting investigations, assessing risks and exploring behaviour patterns. The various job roles within the sector influence the buildings we live in, the transport we use and the products we buy, and all work towards protecting people, property and the environment from the devastating effects of fire.

As the global professional membership body for fire engineers, the IFE is dedicated to supporting its members through legislative change and encouraging new talent to join the industry. As a testament to this, the institution recently made its student membership free of charge, providing the new talent pool with access to key resources, online continuing professional development (CPD) and global networking opportunities.

As part of the apprenticeship pathway, every apprentice must successfully undertake an independent end-point assessment to confirm they have achieved occupational competence and capability. The IFE recognise the FSC’s end-point assessment as a route to membership and through working cohesively, this enables students to apply for Technician grade membership earning the post-nominals TIFireE.

Commenting on the joint venture, CEO of the Institution of Fire Engineers, Steve Hamm, added: ‘It’s such an exciting time to join the industry. Through working with the Fire Service College, we are able to showcase clear pathways into the fire sector and how it offers a range of diverse opportunities. From mapping wildfires in the U.S. to developing hydrogen energy projects in Japan, not all roles lead to becoming a firefighter and fire engineers remain crucial in our mission to a sustainable and fire-safe future.”

“As the international professional body for those in the fire sector, it’s our responsibility to offer inspiration, support and professional development to the next generation of fire engineering talent. Through offering free membership to apprentices and developing platforms for young talent, we’re showcasing our dedication to the next generation of fire engineers.”

With academia remaining pivotal to evolving fire safety, The Fire Service College is also developing their academic modules to cover the new legislative framework. This will ensure recruits are competent and adaptive to the new enforcements.

Remaining one of the top fire training facilities in the world, the college has plans in place to ensure learning experiences remain second to none. Learning Delivery and Transformation Director at the college, Clair Mowbray, commented “Our apprenticeship programme has been developed by sector experts, taking on board feedback from previous apprentices. All those who take part in an apprenticeship programme with us have access to world-class training facilities and experienced, highly qualified instructors. Our apprenticeships are a fantastic route into becoming a fire and rescue professional.

“Apprenticeships also enable those from a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives to access a career in the fire service, with different career paths available, including firefighter, community roles and Fire Safety.”

For further information on apprenticeships at the Fire Service College, visit or contact 01608 812984. To explore membership opportunities at the IFE, please visit for more details.