Unlocking Career Opportunities : Apprenticeships Are For All Ages

Following the introduction of the Building Safety Act (BSA) and the Building Safety Regulator (BSR), there has been a sharp increase in the demand for qualified professionals within the fire safety sector.

Typically, the recruitment of apprentices focuses on the younger generation. Apprenticeships can create a smooth transition for young people coming out of education into the world of work, offering them a defined career path with vocational learning and qualifications. Despite the perception of apprenticeships being for the young, they are equally appropriate for a person looking to retrain in a new career, or for those wishing to enhance their skills.

What are the benefits?

Apprenticeships can be tailored to accommodate a variety of learning styles, making them a more accessible option for individuals of all ages. Unlike traditional methods of education, apprenticeships promote hands-on experience, allowing learners to hone practical skills that are directly relevant to their field of choice. This route is not age-restricted, regardless of academic background or career history. Anyone can benefit from a more immersive and applied approach to fire safety and protection.

The versatility of apprenticeships also allows individuals who have taken a career break or are re-entering the workforce in a different role to quickly upskill to the latest requirements. Apprenticeships no longer require people to attend a formal ‘college’ environment one day a week. A variety of flexible learning methods are available and Xact’s apprenticeships are delivered through blocks of classroom training using our Interactive Virtual Classroom, as well as providing face-to-face options. This supports individuals in maintaining a good work-life balance and recognises that many of us have to juggle family and work commitments whilst working to gain qualifications. Therefore, apprenticeships can be an ideal springboard, providing a structured learning environment for those seeking new skills and knowledge.

A Change in Career

Many people seek career changes or advancements during their lives, particularly in fire safety, which attracts professionals from diverse age profiles. At Xact for example, as of 2024, 66% of all apprentices on the Level 4 apprenticeship are between 35 and 49.

For those undertaking a career change, apprenticeships provide a unique opportunity to make a seamless transition into the fire safety sector. Apprenticeships can develop the specialist knowledge and skills required without having to commit to a lengthy, and sometimes expensive, full-time academic programme. This flexibility is especially appealing to those who have already gained built-environment experience in other fields or have had other roles in the Fire Service/ partner agencies but are drawn to the fire safety and protection aspect of the industry.

A changing of the landscape of fire safety

Additionally, as technology evolves and legislation is advanced for the better, the need for up-to-date learning is vital for fire safety professionals. Apprenticeships provide a dynamic platform for upskilling and staying ahead of the latest developments. Experienced professionals looking to further advance their knowledge can find apprenticeships an effective means to ensure they remain at the forefront of the industry.

Within the fire safety sector, apprenticeships represent an adaptive approach to career development. By recognising the relevance of apprenticeships, we can unlock doors to rewarding opportunities for professionals at every stage of their careers.

If you would like to know more about fire safety apprenticeships, you can visit our apprenticeship overview or contact us at apprenticeships@xact.org.uk

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