Fire and police come together for National Apprenticeship Week

Tue 6 Mar, 2018

Fire and rescue services, including Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service, joined police forces from across England in London yesterday (Monday 5 March) to focus on how apprenticeships can support social mobility and increase diversity in their workforces. 

The government has a commitment to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020, and as major public sector employers, fire and rescue services and police forces have a key role to play in achieving this. 

Nick Hurd, Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, said: “Apprenticeships help people develop skills so that they can get on in life and are a great way for organisations to boost recruitment and improve diversity. Reaching the target of three million apprenticeships by 2020 requires all major public sector organisations to play their part.

“The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship will provide a route for people from a variety of backgrounds to get into policing, while fire and rescue services including Buckinghamshire and Durham and Darlington have already shown the positive impact apprenticeships can have on their workforces.”

At the event, held on the first day of National Apprenticeship Week 2018, attendees joined sessions discussing how they could work more collaboratively, build relationships with local communities, and change perceptions to encourage more apprenticeship applications from diverse groups – including increasing female representation and having more people with disabilities join the police or fire and rescue services. 

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service was represented by Councillor Roger Reed, Chairman of Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, Station Commander Charlie Turner, Firefighter Georgina Randall and Director of People and Organisational Development Lynne Swift.

Last month, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service became the first fire or police service to become a member of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ACDN) and signed a pledge of its commitment to drive diversity in apprenticeships. Pictured below at the signing, left to right, are Councillor Steven Lambert, Lead Member for People and Equality and Diversity, Councillor Reed and Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell.

Councillor Reed said: "Fire services are embracing apprenticeships as a way of enhancing diversity along with developing the skills required for the future. I am proud to be the Chairman of the first Fire Authority to join the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network."

Other events during the week

  • On Wednesday, Operational Assurance Apprentice Elias Williams, Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell and Station Commander Charlie Turner will attend an event at the House of Commons celebrating the ACDN's first anniversary. The Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton, and Helen Grant MP, Chair of the ADCN, will both be speaking at this event.

  • On Thursday, Councillor Reed and Chief Fire Officer Thelwell, accompanied by officers and apprentices, are attending the launch of BFRS's Management Apprenticeships Programme. at the University Campus Aylesbury Vale (UCAV) in Aylesbury.

  • On Friday, Mark Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North, will be visiting Broughton Fire Station to meet a number of our firefighter apprentices, learn about our apprenticeship programme, and discuss further opportunities to engage with the local community.