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Following the introduction of The Fire Safety (England) Regulations on 23 January, fire engineers are more in-demand than ever before and pivotal across all aspects of fire safety within the built environment. Changes to current legislation have increased obligations for responsible persons and as a result, public expectations are increasing. This has uncovered a huge need for competent and qualified professionals within the fire sector, demanding current professionals to upskill in order to meet the new demands within their roles.

The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) has joined forces with the Fire Service College to boost the number of new entrants to the profession during National Apprenticeship Week (6-12 February). 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.

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 and online continuing professional development (CPD). Keeping abreast of regulatory changes is vital in order to keep up to date with new ways of working and best practices.

In the early stages of developing an Early Careers Networking Group, the IFE is tapping into their global community to encourage people into the fire sector. This will provide budding fire engineers at the Fire Service College with a platform to share knowledge, raise issues and network.

CEO of the Institution of Fire Engineers, Steve Hamm, said: ‘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.”

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.” 

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