New Fire Engineering course launched by University to address post-Grenfell skills shortage concerns


Birmingham City University is to launch a new apprenticeship in Fire Engineering later this year, to help address national concerns around a skills shortage in Fire Safety and Building Safety.


Birmingham City University

The part-time Higher-Level Degree Apprenticeship in Fire Engineering, developed in partnership between the National Fire Chiefs Council and the UK’s commercial fire engineering industrial sector, will commence in September 2021.

Growing demand for fire engineers has been highlighted by the Grenfell Tower Enquiry, and the UK Government is currently progressing a new Fire Safety Bill and Building Safety Bill currently through Parliament.

The public inquiry and the investigations into the dreadful loss of life at Grenfell in 2017 have identified a massive competency gap and an opportunity for people to acquire new skills in fire engineering across the UK.

The degree course is ideally suited to those currently working in the Fire and Rescue Service and in Fire Engineering consultancies, who wish to take full advantage of their work experience and gain a formal qualification, with the support of their employer.

By bringing together expertise in teaching, practice and research the course will help to create the next generation of British Fire Engineers and provide a new route for employers seeking to recruit new talent and for people seeking to enter the profession.

The Birmingham City University announcement follows a pledge made by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick in the House of Commons earlier today, that the Government will commit £3.5bn funding to remove flammable or unsafe cladding from buildings across the UK.

The Fire Engineering course is part of a new suite of apprenticeships announced by Birmingham City University to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week.

A report in December 2020 by the Parliamentary Housing Committee said it was “deeply shocking and completely unacceptable” to have more than 2,000 “high-risk” residential buildings with “dangerous cladding” over three years after the Grenfell disaster.

Birmingham City University hosts a sold-out panel discussion on this important issue on Thursday 11 February, featuring legal, construction and insurance experts.

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