Dudley pupils put through paces at fire station

Black Country enterprise agency provide employment learning skills to young people.

Throughout November and December, Key Stage 4 pupils from Holly Hall Academy changed their classroom for Burton Road Community Fire Station for a series of weekly workshops geared around skills development.

Part of the Black Country Skills Factory Enterprise Adviser programme funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company, the weekly sessions focused on vital employability skills including communication, team work, building the pupils self-confidence and resilience along with problem solving.

To acknowledge their hard work; pupils and parents were invited to a Passing out Parade on 18th December whereby participants received their Certificates from Dudley’s Mayor Cllr Dave Tyler and duly congratulated by Station Commander Steven Lees and Group Commander Neil Griffiths. The station was fully working while the workshops were being held. Contingency plans were put into place, so that the fire fighters could respond as usual to emergency calls.

Paul Martin, Crew Commander said: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to be able to teach our skills to these students to aid them in their futures, as we work as a team in the Fire Service and communication is an all important part of our role in dealing with incidents of any nature and being able to give and take orders without hesitation.”

Rob Hatch, Principal from Holly Hall Academy added: “We have been delighted that the Fire Service has been so accommodating to our students and created such a wonderful opportunity. The participants have been really excited about the programme and it is something that we have been happy to support. The chance to get really hands on has been greatly appreciated and will create life long memories. The Passing out Parade was fantastic and it was great to see the pride on the faces of the fantastic young people who took part.”

Zoe Turton, Career and Aspiration Advisor from Holly Hall Academy commented: “Our main aim of the programme was to see an attitude and behaviour change, instil confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline, team working and social skills. The students have been amazing and I would like to congratulate them on all the hard work and commitment they have shown, we are so grateful to the Fire Service for their sheer hard work in making this happen on a weekly basis.”

A tour of the fire station was part of the activities planned along with the understanding of how the transport logistics and water is transferred through the fire engines. Students also got to try on the protective uniform; understanding how it felt to wear the bulky equipment whilst in action, completing individual work based tasks and team resilience challenges.

The Enterprise Adviser programme is a national initiative which sees volunteers from the world of work working directly with school and college leaders to help address the lack of knowledge and limited engagement with the world of work faced by many young people. Find out more here