Skills For Life – instructors gain teaching qualification after training course

Photograph taken during a recent TWFRS training exercise

This week is National Apprenticeship Week where people up and down the country are celebrating knowledge, experience and learning.

We are joining in that celebration by acknowledging all of the hard work and dedication our trainers and firefighters undertake during their own learning journeys.

Within the Service we have a variety of different educational avenues that individuals pursue to help in their personal development that can assist them in keeping communities safe, expand their knowledge and in some cases provide a platform to teach others.

For example, once our new recruitments complete their training programme they then move on to gaining hands-on experience working on-station in communities across Tyne and Wear.  Alongside Watch activity they are also enrolled onto the Level 3 Operational Firefighter Apprenticeship.

In Fire Control, new members of the team sign up for the Level 3 Emergency Services Contact Handler Apprenticeship. The programme is just one important facet of the Service’s firefighter control development.  In Tyne and Wear, the individuals will encompass every aspect from the appliance mobilising process through to emergency incident management and radio communications.

During a recent Ofsted appraisal – inspectors were ‘extremely impressed’ by the Fire Control apprentices and the manner in which they handled the calls, their approach to the callers and the way they gathered information that was used to dispatch the appliances to the incidents in hand.

A number of our trainers also take part in training courses where the skills they obtain enable them to transfer that knowledge to new recruits and Service colleagues.  Last year 12 people gained the Level 3 Award in Education & Training qualification.

Scott Spencer, Learning and Development Quality Assurance Manager, said:

“We are very proud of the Service trainers and staff, and their commitment to learn and develop new skills throughout the learning and training process. This not only benefits the individual in their own personal development but the experience they gain is invaluable to the Service, colleagues and to the wider community.

“We work closely with organisations like New College Durham to create and develop these structured courses that are supporting the development of trainers and learners alike.”

For further information about National Apprenticeship Week please visit