In a first for the region, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) has opened applications for firefighter apprentices.
The 24-month apprenticeships will begin on May 1, 2017, and are open to anyone who will be 17 or over on that date.
Apprentices will receive full fire service training, initially in business fire safety progressing to operational training.
The qualifications will be administered by New College Durham, but they are open to students from all colleges as well as individuals who may not currently be enrolled with an educational establishment.
Recruitment opens at 9am on Thursday via a portal, which will appear on the CDDFRS website. All application forms must be received by 9am on Monday 7 November.
Chief fire officer Stuart Errington, said: “We are backing the government’s drive to recruit more apprentices as part of an initiative which we feel will benefit our Service as well as provide valuable opportunities and training for young people across the region.
“We already have apprentices working with us in business administration and as vehicle technicians but this is the first time we have been able to offer firefighter roles. We are looking forward to the recruitment process and welcoming enthusiastic candidates, keen to develop a wide range of skills.”
In order to find the best candidates, written and role-related tests will be carried out on 28 November and interviews will take place during the week beginning December 12.
The new apprenticeships will help the Service to create a new generation of firefighters to ensure viable succession plans are in place for the future resilience of CDDFRS.
To access the application portal, which will go live on 20 October visit, www.newcollegedurham.ac.uk/apprenticeships/apprenticeship-vacancies/