Report: Is there a skills crisis in the fire industry?
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29 May 2018
The survey results contained within this report (downloadable below) are the result of a number of research actions that the FIA has taken in response to the anecdotal stories of recruitment issues perpetuated within our industry. We will also be holding a webinar on the subject on Thursday 31st May, where our CEO Ian Moore will be presenting his thoughts about the current state of the industries careers and recruitment.
Our members initially ‘raised the alarm’ (excuse the pun) about the current recruitment crisis through our various Council meetings. We then escalated this issue and began investigating further, consulting other member companies and speaking to recruiters who also backed up this claim. However, there was no data to support this and it was difficult to gauge how widespread the issue was across regions of the UK and which sectors were suffering the most.
It has often been noted that the fire industry as a whole is an ‘invisible’ industry, and not the industry that young people immediately think of when considering a career path. After holding a focus group with some school leavers, it became even clearer: this age group were totally unaware the job opportunities available in our industry. But with some further discussion, they gained some understanding and began to ask questions about what jobs they could potentially do. It has become clear, now more than ever, that we can influence young people into thinking about careers in the fire industry; we can raise awareness; we can start discussions with key individuals.
However, before we could start engaging we needed to find out what the industry itself thought of this issue. Contained within these pages you will find out what level of job roles have been the most difficult to recruit for, how many people aged 16-25 have been hired nationally, and how those young people found out about the role. Take the time to digest the information – as it could be beneficial in changing your strategy for hiring. Perhaps the most surprising statistic was that less than 10% of hires were as a result of the job being posted through the job centre. Even less were through school careers advisors or a Google search. These are all methods that can be utilised to spread the word about vacancies.
A final note for your thoughts: don’t rule out those that have no experience coming straight from school or college. The FIA provides a comprehensive suite of training and nationally recognised qualifications that you can rely on to bring those new hires up to speed. By doing so, you’ll be bolstering your business, as well as the industry, and securing the future of a young individual – something we should all be proud of.