Some services, covering large remote regions of the country, simply couldn’t respond effectively to major incidents without the support of On-Call Firefighters, many of whom have other part-time roles, are doing ongoing learning and development, or other commitments that mean they are not able to work as full-time Firefighters.

On-Call recruitment week is a fantastic national campaign highlighting the benefits for those considering a role as an On-Call Firefighter, to develop skills, benefit from flexibility and secure jobs.

With a range of resources available from the website, delivered by the NFCC in partnership with the Home Office, the campaign shares stories from existing On-Call Firefighters, and support for Employers to support recruitment and training.

As the Sector Skills Council for Justice, we work closely with Fire and Rescue Services, including those who are Skills for Justice Members, to support ongoing Workforce Development strategies and planning. The On-Call workforce is an important piece of both a national and regional effort to develop the skills and competencies of the future workforce.

All Fire Services should consider the support available to recruit and train On-Call Firefighters, and we can help by:

  • Providing expert workforce planning strategy consultation through our specialist workforce development team, building the On-Call workforce into your long-term goals.
  • Help you navigate the recently changed opportunities for On-Call employees to do the Level 3 Operational Firefighter (OFF) Apprenticeship, announced in January 2020 following a review from the Trailblazer group.
  • Any staff from your organisation, including On-Call staff can attend our exclusive Knowledge Exchange Events when your organisation becomes a Skills for Justice Member.
  • Our sister organisation, SFJ Awards can support your first cohort of Operational Firefighters in On-Call roles through End-Point Assessment.
  • Research and organisational development to effectively assess the needs of your workforce, ensuring the development of On-Call apprentices and trainees alike are a suitable fit for your long-term workforce development needs.

Cathy Gallagher, Lead Technical Specialist at Skills for Justice said: “The focus on the On-Call Firefighter workforce is hugely welcomed, as so many FRS’ rely on their part-time employees to prepare for and respond to major incidents, and support Fire prevention.

Furthermore, the change in 2020 to allow On-Call staff to conduct the highly regarded Level 3 Operational Firefighter Apprenticeships means even more people can find a long-lasting and meaningful career in the Fire Services, working around their other commitments. Training and development delivered through the Apprenticeship is ideal for both part-time and full-time staff alike to develop the skills, knowledge and competencies that have been reviewed and supported by the trailblazer group.”

Fire and Rescue Services across the UK turn to us as their trusted partner for specific workforce planning solutions and support with recruitment. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can tailor our support to suit your organisation’s needs.


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