Avon Fire & Rescue Service celebrates apprenticeship graduates

A celebration event in honour of those who have completed apprenticeships with Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) was held this month at Severn Park regional fire and rescue training centre.

The event saw graduates from three different apprenticeship schemes complete their courses and was attended by AF&RS staff as well as Weston College representatives. Assistant Chief Fire Office Simon Shilton and Area Manager Matt Peskett attended the ceremony and presented each graduate with a framed certificate and badge to mark their achievement.

Liz Marchant, Organisational Development Manager attended both as a manager and a graduate herself. Liz said: “Our apprenticeship programmes in Business Administration, Team Leading and Departmental Management began in 2018, in conjunction with Weston College, and were offered and taken up by Operational, Control and Corporate staff.

“In 2019 we added degree apprenticeships and we currently have 3 undertaking the L6 Chartered Manager degree apprenticeship and 1 undertaking the L7 Senior Leaders Masters degree, via block release at UWE. We have also recruited Corporate staff as apprentices. To date we have enrolled 61 staff in apprenticeships. Out of the 28 so far who have successfully completed their apprenticeship, 21 have achieved distinction, which is an amazing result.”

Apprentices also used the opportunity to collate advice for future participants of the schemes. Advice from each apprentice was written on flip charts and will be shared with new applicants. With such success from these apprenticeships, AF&RS and Weston College will go on to offer more courses, particularly within the operational side of the Service.

Tracie Leahy, Head of Traineeship and Apprenticeship Hub at Weston College has seen the success of these schemes firsthand. Tracie said: “Weston College has been delighted to work in partnership with Avon Fire and Rescue over the last 4 years growing participation of Apprenticeships.”

“We are incredibly proud of all the Apprentices that have achieved their apprenticeships in Business Administration, Team Leading, Operational Management and to see the impact of their learning enhance their development. We continue to grow this relationship within other areas such as Apprentice Operational Fire Fighter in the coming months.”

“Well done to all Apprentices who have achieved, and we look forward to next year’s achievers’ celebration event!”