All across the UK fire protection industry, there is one growing problem.
Everyone seems to know about it. Everyone is talking about it. But no one seems to know how to solve it.
The thing is, this problem is so complex once you delve in deeper. It is almost a Catch-22 situation – a real need to have good quality competent engineers in the jobs market, but no young fresh faces joining the industry with those skills.
Just towards the end of 2016, Brett Ennals, a recruitment consultant for the fire and security industries spoke out. ‘A lack of new blood in the industry has been a problem for the last 3-4 years,’ he wrote in his blog. ‘1 in 5 employers are facing a talent shortage at the moment’.
So yes, there is a problem. No one is joining the industry. And there just isn’t a clear career pathway for new people to get excited about joining.
How do you get young people to join the industry? How do you upskill them enough to become ‘competent’ according to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005? How does one even PROVE competence in a jobs market where there are no formal qualifications in fire design, installation, and commissioning?
Of course, there is plenty of very good and very reliable training around. The FIA is proud to present a range of different courses that aim to upskill those in the profession and bring a higher standard of knowledge and expertise to the fore. Aiming high and setting the bar for professionalism has always been a part of everything we do.
But right now, all across the wide (digital) world, people are anxiously discussing the need for change.
So what is it exactly that needs to change? Is it the level of education that new engineers have? Is it the need to retain staff as much as possible in order to keep them within the industry? Is putting new engineers through training an effective way of solving this current skills gap? Or does more need to be done?
Join in the conversation.
And don’t forget to look out for the FIA blog next week where FIA Chairman and industry expert Martin Harvey will be discussing a new Standard that is going to impact businesses across the whole of the UK…
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By Ian Gurling, FIA Training Manager
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