On the job training for students as part of new partnership

A new working partnership between Keighley Campus, Leeds City College, and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will provide work-related, practical training for recruits to a new college course.

The campus and the nearby Keighley Fire Station, on Bradford Road, have teamed up to give students a taste of what life in the fire service is like.

As part of the new BTEC Level 2 Public Service qualification, students will spend time at the station every week in a special on-site training unit, being put through their paces while gaining valuable hands-on experience.

Public Service courses are aimed at young people interested in a career in the civilian and military public services – including those in the fire service and also the police service, prison and ambulance service and the armed forces. They help prepare students academically, physically and mentally for these highly challenging roles.

The new recruits will be kitted out with full uniforms and undertake training duties covering many aspects of the fire service including running the hoses and checking fire-fighting equipment.

The partnership is running as part of the service’s Young Firefighters Scheme which already works with a number of schools across West Yorkshire.

Leeds City College Curriculum Area Manager for Public Services Suzy Gallagher said: “The opportunity for on-site work-related experience forms an important part of the course – it complements what students are learning at college while enabling them to apply elements to real-life situations which will count as part of their coursework.”

Youth Training Manager Martin Hoole, from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said students would cover key elements as if on a real training programme.

Students will start their induction in the classroom with Martin and colleagues, who are operational Firefighters, covering key safety procedures.

“Discipline is an important part of the service – we work to rules and regulations, time keeping is essential and there is respect for the strict uniform policy,” he said.

“These recruits will also learn the importance of working as a team and leadership as well as how we work and interact with the other emergency services and the local community.”

The station has its own small fire appliance kitted out with all the essential equipment for the students to use while they are on-site and they will also be paying a visit to a smoke house as part of their work experience.

“This is about helping to ensure our students are work-ready, with a good foundation for those keen in pursuing a career in the emergency or armed service – as well as providing an enjoyable element as part of their studies,” Suzy added.