Dorset Fire Service could recruit apprentices as ageing workforce becomes a ‘major concern’

BLAZE: Dorset Fire and Rescue at the scene of a fire at the former Cliff End Hotel site in Manor Road

PLEASED: Chief Fire Officer Darran Gunter

First published in News
Last updated
by

DORSET'S fire service could be recruiting apprentices to tackle the problem of an ageing workforce.

Of the 798 people employed by Dorset Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS), only 91 are under the age of 29.

Those at the top have called the situation a 'major concern,' with worries that unless the problem is addressed, the service is 'heading for suicide.'

Members of the Dorset Fire Authority's Audit and Scrutiny Committee have said they are fully behind the possibility of an apprenticeship scheme.

They heard from members of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service which has set up a similar, successful initiative.

Tim Wareham, training manager at Staffordshire, said the apprentices had had a 'profound effect' on the workforce.

The estimated cost for recruting an apprentice would be around £30,000 for three years.

In comparison, the estimated cost for recruiting a trainee firefighter would be around £75,000 for three years.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service does not have any wholetime firefighters under 25 and only one manager in the service is aged under 40.

Chief Fire Officer Darran Gunter said although it is concerning, he was pleased the authority was taking steps to address the problem as quickly as possible.

He said: “We turned this around. We had the report in February and here we are in March listening to one possible solution.”

As reported in the Echo, a decision over Dorset combining with Wiltshire will be made in September.

But members of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee raised concerns as to whether the implementation of an apprenticeship scheme could scupper merger talks.

Chairman Trevor Jones said: “We need to talk to Wiltshire because part of our decision about combination is about the need to do things more effectively, so we are going to have to shed some staff.

“At a time when we are shedding staff we need to be sensible about bringing in other people. Especially if it looks as though we are bringing in cheap labour to replace costly labour.

“But we have not got a plethora of alternatives to this.”

He added: “We are in favour in principle of this and we ought to work to continue on this but we mustn't make the mistake of doing it in too much of a rush.

Comments (12)

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10:59am Sun 23 Mar 14

elite50 says...

"We are turning it around". ????
It took a month to air "one" possible solution.
I don't know about you lot but if I have a problem with short, or ageing staff I DO something about it BEFORE it becomes a problem.
Wake up!
"We are turning it around". ???? It took a month to air "one" possible solution. I don't know about you lot but if I have a problem with short, or ageing staff I DO something about it BEFORE it becomes a problem. Wake up! elite50
  • Score: 6

11:12am Sun 23 Mar 14

Ziggy starburst says...

Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.
Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say. Ziggy starburst
  • Score: 6

11:50am Sun 23 Mar 14

elite50 says...

Ziggy starburst wrote:
Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.
Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, right, Left.
I would hate to march with you. I would end up with a short leg!
[quote][p][bold]Ziggy starburst[/bold] wrote: Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.[/p][/quote]Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, right, Left. I would hate to march with you. I would end up with a short leg! elite50
  • Score: -9

11:58am Sun 23 Mar 14

BmthNewshound says...

If 29 is now considered the starting point for being considered to be "ageing" then those of us for whom our 20's are just a memory must be considered well over the hill and ready for the knackers yard..
.
I know some very physically fit men & women who are in their 40's and 50's and some very unfit men & women in their 20's - Surely suitability for the fire service should depend on physical and mental fitness not simply age.
If 29 is now considered the starting point for being considered to be "ageing" then those of us for whom our 20's are just a memory must be considered well over the hill and ready for the knackers yard.. . I know some very physically fit men & women who are in their 40's and 50's and some very unfit men & women in their 20's - Surely suitability for the fire service should depend on physical and mental fitness not simply age. BmthNewshound
  • Score: 15

2:04pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Ziggy starburst says...

elite50 wrote:
Ziggy starburst wrote:
Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.
Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, right, Left.
I would hate to march with you. I would end up with a short leg!
You're right. Firemen should work until they are 70. Make sure your smoke detectors are working & you live in a bungalow.
[quote][p][bold]elite50[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ziggy starburst[/bold] wrote: Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.[/p][/quote]Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, right, Left. I would hate to march with you. I would end up with a short leg![/p][/quote]You're right. Firemen should work until they are 70. Make sure your smoke detectors are working & you live in a bungalow. Ziggy starburst
  • Score: 3

5:36pm Sun 23 Mar 14

Turtlebay says...

Is it still a requirement that all successful applicants be bisexual?
Is it still a requirement that all successful applicants be bisexual? Turtlebay
  • Score: -11

6:05pm Sun 23 Mar 14

muscliffman says...

And naturally no link to the publicly quite popular idea that the UK fire service should reorganise itself to enable experienced older and/or less fit service employees to work on in lighter/administrati
ve duties until at least something approaching the same age of retirement expected of the rest of the working population, instead of 'retiring' in their early fifties.....
And naturally no link to the publicly quite popular idea that the UK fire service should reorganise itself to enable experienced older and/or less fit service employees to work on in lighter/administrati ve duties until at least something approaching the same age of retirement expected of the rest of the working population, instead of 'retiring' in their early fifties..... muscliffman
  • Score: 4

8:25pm Sun 23 Mar 14

High Treason says...

Unbelievable. It is not exactly hard work is it. Building workers work way past 60, some labouring and they have to be fit or no work. How many times are the fire service called out a month for something that requires them to be under 50.
Unbelievable. It is not exactly hard work is it. Building workers work way past 60, some labouring and they have to be fit or no work. How many times are the fire service called out a month for something that requires them to be under 50. High Treason
  • Score: -5

9:42pm Sun 23 Mar 14

ferndun says...

elite50 wrote:
Ziggy starburst wrote:
Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.
Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, right, Left.
I would hate to march with you. I would end up with a short leg!
Sadly this is true. The fire service is now looking at an ageing workforce and the longer it goes on and the cracks will start to appear if they haven't already. Government requirements and initiatives have led to a loss of focus within the fire service in short dealing with emergency call outs seems to be more of a hindrance. I agree that modernisation is required but not at the expense of providing a public service. If that's left, left, left then let me join the circling marchers.
[quote][p][bold]elite50[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ziggy starburst[/bold] wrote: Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.[/p][/quote]Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, right, Left. I would hate to march with you. I would end up with a short leg![/p][/quote]Sadly this is true. The fire service is now looking at an ageing workforce and the longer it goes on and the cracks will start to appear if they haven't already. Government requirements and initiatives have led to a loss of focus within the fire service in short dealing with emergency call outs seems to be more of a hindrance. I agree that modernisation is required but not at the expense of providing a public service. If that's left, left, left then let me join the circling marchers. ferndun
  • Score: 5

10:43am Mon 24 Mar 14

Abc1970 says...

Ziggy starburst wrote:
Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.
Actually i think the point is that everybody is bored of hearing this of the poor old fire service all the time. Don't get me wrong, I have utmost respect for fire and rescue and the job that they do and I would not like to do it myself, however I do have this issue with the fact that the fire service come across as being above the law, so to speak, in terms of their public service and entitlement. Everybody in the country is facing extended working years, reduced pension income on retirement and a busier and harder working life, the fire service is no different. They are becoming quieter as a service, not busier. You do not see the NHS posting Echo articles on a daily basis about how many people have been treated that day and what they were treated for and what equipment was used. The very fact that that the fire service has a spare person to constantly update the Echo on all of their call outs just goes to show that possibly some re-structuring is needed.
[quote][p][bold]Ziggy starburst[/bold] wrote: Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.[/p][/quote]Actually i think the point is that everybody is bored of hearing this of the poor old fire service all the time. Don't get me wrong, I have utmost respect for fire and rescue and the job that they do and I would not like to do it myself, however I do have this issue with the fact that the fire service come across as being above the law, so to speak, in terms of their public service and entitlement. Everybody in the country is facing extended working years, reduced pension income on retirement and a busier and harder working life, the fire service is no different. They are becoming quieter as a service, not busier. You do not see the NHS posting Echo articles on a daily basis about how many people have been treated that day and what they were treated for and what equipment was used. The very fact that that the fire service has a spare person to constantly update the Echo on all of their call outs just goes to show that possibly some re-structuring is needed. Abc1970
  • Score: -1

9:51am Tue 25 Mar 14

Azphreal says...

So they want to get staff on the cheap. Become a fireman and risk your life,maybe have to deal with deaths and all for the same money you could earn at a fast food shop. What a wonderful idea.
So they want to get staff on the cheap. Become a fireman and risk your life,maybe have to deal with deaths and all for the same money you could earn at a fast food shop. What a wonderful idea. Azphreal
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Tue 25 Mar 14

blackdog1 says...

elite50 wrote:
Ziggy starburst wrote:
Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.
Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, right, Left.
I would hate to march with you. I would end up with a short leg!
Fool fool fool fool.............
[quote][p][bold]elite50[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ziggy starburst[/bold] wrote: Nothing to do with politicians who retire before everyone else deciding everyone has to work until they are 67. If you think its bad now, wait another 10-15 years. Another Tory policy fails. Interesting that there were about 100 comments pouring scorn on firefighters striking which was connected to this issue but now the fire service is already showing cracks (along with the nhs etc). No one has anything to say.[/p][/quote]Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, Left, right, Left. I would hate to march with you. I would end up with a short leg![/p][/quote]Fool fool fool fool............. blackdog1
  • Score: 1

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