High quality training has become even more essential in the past few years, not just in terms of satisfying legal and regulatory provisions, but in offering your workforce a tangible means of advancement, self-improvement and motivation.
Like many skilled industries, the fire alarm installation and engineering sector is experiencing a skills shortage, a situation that has become more acute recently due to the effects of Brexit and the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. Training your workforce can be a great way of attracting and retaining quality people to your business.
There are different ways to train
Apprenticeships are a great way to attract young people with potential. There are apprenticeships in fire, emergency and security systems that lead to a recognised Level 3 NVQ qualification, providing a pathway to becoming a qualified fire and security alarm systems installer or engineer. The pathway to an apprenticeship is a blend of ‘on the job’ training and mentoring and classroom training. At the end of the apprenticeship (usually three years), apprentices will be qualified to design, install and maintain electronic systems to protect businesses and homes from fire, break-ins and other emergencies.
One of the advantages of employing apprentices is that they become more valuable to you, the employer, as they progress through their training. Another is that the apprenticeship process builds up a sense of attachment and loyalty to your business and its culture, making it more likely to retain the services of the employee once qualified.
An alternative training route into the industry is through specialist college-based BTEC qualifications, available from entry level to professional qualifications at level 7.
Another way of plugging the skills gap is by attracting more experienced people, perhaps from related roles such as electricians, security systems engineers or telecoms engineers. They may need some top-up training to become competent fire detection and alarm engineers, but they are likely to have transferable skills and aptitudes to make them highly suitable for the role.
A great way to demonstrate the credentials of your engineers and your business is to complete a recognised third party certification scheme. Schemes include BAFE SP203-1 Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems, BAFE SP207 Evacuation Alert Systems, and BAFE DS301 Domestic Fire Detection and Alarm Systems.
What does Cygnus offer?
At Cygnus we also offer our engineers a range of employment conditions that contribute towards job satisfaction. These include flexible working hours, remote working, and opportunities to train and develop themselves and obtain promotion. In addition to attractive salaries, these ‘soft’ terms and conditions do a great deal to attract and retain talented employees.