Dorset Fire and Rescue Service to recruit apprentice firefighters after concerns raised over ageing workforce

Fire service to recruit apprentices in bid to tackle ageing workforce timebomb

Fire service to recruit apprentices in bid to tackle ageing workforce timebomb

First published in News
Last updated
by

FIRE chiefs have agreed to recruit apprentice firefighters, in a bid to tackle Dorset Fire & Rescue Service’s (DFRS) ageing workforce timebomb.

Proposals to introduce operational firefighter apprenticeships, that will see five young people taken on in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset, were agreed by members of the county’s fire authority at its latest meeting.

Figures published in the Daily Echo earlier this year revealed that of the 798 people employed by DFRS, only 91 were under the age of 29. Those at the top had described this situation as a ‘major concern’.

Now, county fire chief Darran Gunter, said: “I am delighted that Dorset Fire Authority approved the development of the Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship scheme.

“This exciting new project is not only going to allow the service to address our ageing workforce concerns but also support the training and development of young people in our communities.”

The estimated costs for recruiting an apprentices expected to be around £30,000 for three years.

DFRS does not have any wholetime firefighters under 25 and only one manager in the service is aged under 40.

Mr Gunter said: “This will be a fantastic opportunity for five young people in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole allowing them to gain a number of qualifications and potentially a career as a professional firefighter.

“Whilst all public services face a very challenging future, we must continue to ensure that wherever possible we provide opportunities for local young people. I look forward to welcoming our five apprentices to DFRS over the coming months.”

Targets narrowly missed

DORSET Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) narrowly missed its target for fire related injuries last year, according to the latest figures.

But the county service did achieve a number of key targets – including reducing the number of fire related deaths from five in 2012/13, to three last financial year.

Dorset’s firefighters rescued 42 people from fires in 2013/14 and 112 from accidents on the county’s roads. A further 25 people were saved from flooding related incidents. The target set for fire related injuries for the same period, 29, was missed by just one – with 30 injuries recorded.

According to the latest Dorset Fire Authority figures, DFRS also achieved its target for the number of accidental dwelling fires. In 2013/14 they attended 438 against a target of 456.

The year end target of fires in commercial buildings was also met with January-March having the lowest number of these fires, 38, of any quarter in the last five years.

Mr Gunter said: “Although it is disappointing that we missed targets in some areas of our work, I am really pleased with the hard work and efforts of my staff to reduce the amount of fire related deaths and injuries in 2013/14. We will continue to work hard with our partners to reduce the amount of road traffic collisions we attend and make Dorset’s roads safer for all.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:01am Tue 8 Jul 14

muscliffman says...

As the Fire Service Union is currently engaged in industrial action intended to preserve the old routine of the staff 'retiring' completely, rather than simply being relieved from more active duties, when still only in their fifties it seems very odd indeed to read of an 'ageing workforce timebomb'.
As the Fire Service Union is currently engaged in industrial action intended to preserve the old routine of the staff 'retiring' completely, rather than simply being relieved from more active duties, when still only in their fifties it seems very odd indeed to read of an 'ageing workforce timebomb'. muscliffman
  • Score: 0

10:09am Tue 8 Jul 14

ferndun says...

muscliffman wrote:
As the Fire Service Union is currently engaged in industrial action intended to preserve the old routine of the staff 'retiring' completely, rather than simply being relieved from more active duties, when still only in their fifties it seems very odd indeed to read of an 'ageing workforce timebomb'.
Sadly there aren't enough office based jobs for individuals to go into after reaching 55/60 and this will be even more evident if the merger with Wiltshire goes ahead.
[quote][p][bold]muscliffman[/bold] wrote: As the Fire Service Union is currently engaged in industrial action intended to preserve the old routine of the staff 'retiring' completely, rather than simply being relieved from more active duties, when still only in their fifties it seems very odd indeed to read of an 'ageing workforce timebomb'.[/p][/quote]Sadly there aren't enough office based jobs for individuals to go into after reaching 55/60 and this will be even more evident if the merger with Wiltshire goes ahead. ferndun
  • Score: 4

2:33pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Judaas says...

I hope these apprentices are told the truth about their pension and other working conditions when they join. Basically, don't sign up to anything, its not worth the paper its written on. The Government, with the assistance of the employers, will screw you every opportunity they can get. Expect no pension, even if you have paid a fortune into it, work to a very old age, there will be no pay rises for the foreseeable future, expect to work a 56 hour week, plus overtime soon and for heavens sake don't get injured on duty, instant dismissal.
I hope these apprentices are told the truth about their pension and other working conditions when they join. Basically, don't sign up to anything, its not worth the paper its written on. The Government, with the assistance of the employers, will screw you every opportunity they can get. Expect no pension, even if you have paid a fortune into it, work to a very old age, there will be no pay rises for the foreseeable future, expect to work a 56 hour week, plus overtime soon and for heavens sake don't get injured on duty, instant dismissal. Judaas
  • Score: 5

6:34pm Tue 8 Jul 14

The Happy Chatterer says...

....cheap jobs...well done to the Chief, more money saved !!! they will only be paid the minimum wage....£2.68 per hour !!!!...mind you, I expect those wages will make it easier for the Chief take get his 0.95% pay rise (on 130K) this year.

..ohh and I believe he'll be up for retirement as soon as they merge with Wiltshire....rotten?
?? Denmark ??? never.....
....cheap jobs...well done to the Chief, more money saved !!! they will only be paid the minimum wage....£2.68 per hour !!!!...mind you, I expect those wages will make it easier for the Chief take get his 0.95% pay rise (on 130K) this year. ..ohh and I believe he'll be up for retirement as soon as they merge with Wiltshire....rotten? ?? Denmark ??? never..... The Happy Chatterer
  • Score: 7

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree