National Apprenticeship Week: Fire Service reaches the big 200

A North-East Fire and Rescue Service is proud to announce they have reached an important apprenticeship milestone.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has revealed that 200 new or existing staff members are working towards an apprenticeship qualification.

This announcement has been unveiled as the country celebrates National Apprenticeship Week, a campaign aimed at raising awareness of the many benefits apprenticeships can offer businesses, organisations and workforces up and down the country and, in this case, across Tyne and Wear.

The Fire Service’s apprenticeship programmes are open to people across all four areas of the Service, including operational firefighters, fire control, community safety and corporate teams.

The apprenticeship scheme forms part of the employee development programme. During the course, staff members are taught practical and theoretical elements of their role.

Lynsey McVay, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Our apprenticeship programme plays an essential role in preparing our new recruits and employees for life within the Service.

“The courses are an important way for people to learn on the job training and be able to put their new found skills immediately in to practice to the benefit of the local community.

“We hope that National Apprenticeship Week will be a window of opportunity to show the kind of openings and career avenues that are available with us.”

One person to benefit from completing the two-year apprenticeship course is Firefighter Brad Clough from Red Watch at Newcastle Central Community Fire Station.

The former motor mechanic joined the Service as a recruit in April 2021 and hasn’t looked back since.

Brad, 37, from Seaton Delaval in Northumberland, is married to his partner Faye and has a six-year-old son called Freddie – who is also keen to follow in his daddy’s footsteps.

Brad left school at 16 but always had a desire to join the Fire Service. After persevering for a few years, he managed to land his dream job.

Talking about how the apprenticeship course helped him adapt to life on the station, Brad said: “The training gave me an important broader understanding of the technical and operational aspects of the job.

“It gave me the opportunity to learn some of the various procedures within my role, including fire safety, fire behaviour and how to do safety checks in people’s homes.”

Brad also talks about the camaraderie he enjoyed on the apprenticeship course.

He said: “I really enjoyed going back to the training school and being able to work alongside my fellow firefighters.

“It gave me a chance to follow their careers across the two-year period as we’d built up a real bond.”

The keen cyclist and swimmer looks ahead to where he hopes to see his own career progress.

Brad added: “I love my job and the colleagues who I work with. I am happy with the idea that I have still got a lot to learn on-station to establish myself as a firefighter.

“I will be starting my driver training soon, which will add to my experience.”

For further information about Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and National Apprenticeship Week, please visit &