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May 30, 2022


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SERC to host fire and security careers day to promote sector apprenticeships

Designed to raise awareness of the opportunities for qualifications and careers in the fire and security industry, South Eastern Regional College (SERC) is hosting a Fire Security Careers Day on Tuesday 7 June.

The event will take place on SERC’s Lisburn Campus in Northern Ireland between 15:00-19:00.

SERC-JonnyHamilton-Apprenticeship-22Robin Hamill, Lecturer in Fire & Security at SERC explained: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people, school leavers, and experienced workers who may be considering a change of career to find out about the qualifications and employment opportunities in an exciting growth industry.

“We are keen to raise awareness of the career opportunities in an industry which people may not have considered. It encompasses fundamentals of electronics, IT and electrical skills, and builds on knowledge that potential students or employees may have already gained at school or in employment.

“The fire and security industry offers highly dynamic and diverse careers and employment roles, for example, field technician, estimating or contract management. There is a recognised skills shortage in the industry and jobs for fully qualified technicians command lucrative salaries.

He added: “For the past six years SERC has been growing and developing the fire and security apprenticeship. Our apprentices have gained recognition for their tremendous achievements in national competitions including IFSEC Engineers of Tomorrow national fire and security competition. This illustrates the quality of their training – a partnership between SERC and employers – and the apprentice’s expertise, professionalism, and positive attitude.”

SERC has supported the introduction of the Northern Ireland Fire and Security Employers Federation and the development of new courses and upskilling training for the industry. Employers and manufacturers have contributed state-of-the-art products to the College to support teaching and Continuing Professional Development.

Representatives and key stakeholders of the UK Fire and Security Industry will be on hand to answer questions at the Careers Day on 7 June. In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to experience using products and completing tasks associated with the industry, including a mobile CCTV training unit, communication networks, wireless and hard-wired fire and security products, and to meet potential employers and current apprentices.

The Northern Ireland Fire Security Employers Federation (NIFSEF) will be hosting its quarterly meeting before the Career Day.

After the meeting SERC will be hosting an informal lunch for the NIFSEF, Employers, UK Fire and Security key stakeholders. The lunch will give the opportunity for all parties to discuss and consider a plan to help promote the professionalism of the fire and security industry and the career opportunities for school leavers, young people and experienced workers seeking a career change.

The Fire & Security Employers with the support of NIFSEF and the Colleges have a desire to professionalise the sector employing highly trained, experienced, technicians with a recognised qualification. Following the launch of the Fire Emergency Security Systems (FESS) and supported by the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS) a skills competency card was introduced to recognise the training, experience and qualifications awarded to people working in this sector.

Andy Reakes from ECS and Trevor Jenks from SSAIB will present the FESS Gold Card to the students that have successfully completed their level 3 apprenticeship. The FESS Gold Cards will be the first of their type to be awarded in Northern Ireland.

Leading UK manufacturers will be attending the Employer Manufacturers Career Day, including:

  • Advanced
  • Aico
  • Ajax Security
  • Apollo Fire Detectors
  • CSL
  • Dahua
  • Nittan
  • Pyronix

Level 3 Fire Systems Apprentice Jonny Hamilton, from Bangor, took first place in SkillBuildNI earlier this month. Jonny, who is employed by Atlas World, said: “I wanted to progress, but I knew university following A levels wasn’t for me. The apprenticeship route has afforded me the best opportunities for a career in the fire security industry. I am currently completing my Level 3 Fire Systems Apprenticeship, which means I will gain a fully recognised qualification. As part of my apprenticeship, I am learning from professionals on the job and in College, earning money and developing a career for myself in a growth industry.

“My job is enjoyable and there is plenty of variety as I am out and about, working independently on particular jobs as I advance, meeting suppliers and dealing directly with customers, all of which is building my confidence.

Jonny concluded: “The Fire Security Careers Day at SERC on 7 June is a great first step to finding out more about opportunities for employment in the industry whether you are a school leaver or looking for a change of direction.”

Book your tickets to attend, here.


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