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Fire Industry Training Academy Ltd (FITA) Supported by the UK Government and CCBC to Develop a Fire Safety Training Centre

Posted on : 10 May 2023

Fire Industry Training Academy Ltd (FITA) Supported by the UK Government and CCBC to Develop a Fire Safety Training Centre
Gareth Selway and Peter Bell have set up a company, Fire Industry Training Academy (FITA), that covers all aspects of fire safety from fire extinguisher training usage, all the way up to high level incident command fire control. They are a ‘one stop shop’ for all fire safety training needs. Directors Gareth, and Peter, were looking for grant support for the development of their plan to create this centre of excellence within the fire safety training industry.

The academy, which trains skilled apprentices with industry recognised qualifications, will be the very first of its kind in Wales, which until now saw people needing to travel to England to obtain the skills and knowledge required in the field.

The idea came about when Gareth and Peter felt unhappy with facilities in fire safety training throughout the country and they passionately felt a need for change. This led to the production of this unique training programme. Unlike other training providers, FITA will educate trainees in every manufacturer’s system, rather than a single manufacturer like other courses. The centre will have state of the art training facilities incorporating Virtual Technology, individual workstations, and an ability to record practical work for apprentices’ work portfolios.

They are aiming to offer 3-year apprenticeships, with thirty-six positions (12 trainees at a time) being offered. They are also working with Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Jemma Sheppard, from the Employability Team, on an initiative to engage with the long term unemployed and to provide a route to employment. There is a chronic shortage of skilled staff working in the fire alarm field and they want to provide tangible employment opportunities for youth and adult workers new to the industry pairing them with potential employers through partnerships. Another huge benefit is participants are eligible for £150 per week payment while training.

The company recognises the plans for new competency frameworks being put in place, which will force those currently employed in the fire sector, to gain a regulated qualification that FITA can offer. Not only do they offer on-site training but are able to offer training at companies and sites anywhere in Wales and the rest of the UK.

FITA have received £24,892.00 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This grant was dedicated towards Fire Industry Training Academy Ltd through Caerphilly County Borough Council’s intervention of UKSPF funds. The grant was used for support with costs for computer hardware and CCTV monitoring which is required to run the training program.

Peter Bell has said “The apprentice scheme will see highly skilled jobs created, with starting salaries of more than £35,000 once qualified. We are enormously proud to able to create this centre of excellence, believing passionately in fire safety as we do, we know the importance of having such skilled and fully trained technicians is of the upmost importance. Without continued support and the help from Caerphilly Council’s Business Team we would have struggled to achieve our goal.”

Cllr Jamie Pritchard, Cabinet Member for Prosperity, Regeneration and Climate Change, commented “Excellent to see how FITA are working to improve fire safety in the community. We are delighted to collaborate with the company to offer financial support towards a key service.”

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