Leeds City Council

Published : 27/06/2012 00:00

Young people spark an interest in DIY

Pupils at Boston Spa School have fired up their interest in DIY as part of their Young Fire Fighters training.

Aged between 15-16 years old, six pupils have spent the last week in Richmond Hill learning skills such as basic tiling, joinery, plastering and how to handle power tools. The training was provided in partnership by local housing provider East North East Homes Leeds and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS).

The course was run as part of the two year course in fire fighting hosted by the WYFRS. Young people are taught a diverse range of subjects including community fire safety, casualty extrication and general life skills, combining both practical and academic lessons. The successful completion results in a BTEC Level Two qualification.

The aim of this course is to equip the young people with life skills such as communication, organisational and health and safety skills which will compliment the practical hand-on knowledge gleaned from working on a building site and within a fire station.

Students have enjoyed the benefits of a practical element outside the traditional school environment. Michael French aged 16, said: I have just finished the 2 year course in fire and rescue skills. I found out about skills week through my fire fighting instructor and decided this was a great opportunity to learn new skills. I have completed carpentry, joinery and decorating which has given me an insight into how skilled craftsmen work. I would definitely recommend this course.

Angelena Fixter, Chair of ENEHL Board said:
“Combining hands-on experience with classroom learning is a great way to stimulate interest in a future career option. We have a long standing relationship with the Fire Service and it’s fantastic to be able to give young people the chance to shape their future.”

Christopher Wash, Headteacher of Boston Spa School said:
"I am delighted that young people from Boston Spa School have participated in Skills Week with East North East Homes Leeds. Opportunities to gain quality first hand experience and insight into the construction industry are rare. I look forward to hearing of the success of the young people, as they learn new skills and gain a valuable chance to showcase their personal qualities, skills and abilities to future employers."

Crew Commander Stuart Wilson MBE, Station Co-ordinator said:
"I am really pleased to see that our close links with East North East Homes have enabled our young fire fighters a unique experience in what career options are available to them. This initiative is a first within West Yorkshire and is the vital final link towards helping our students who have just successfully completed a 2 year BTEC course in ‘Fire and Rescue Services in the Community’ at East Leeds Young Firefighters at Gipton Fire station."

Nick Smith, Leeds District Commander for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said:
"This skills week is fantastic in many ways. Most importantly it gives our students opportunity to try out some trades and display some of the qualities they have developed during the Young Firefighters programme at Gipton. Preparing young people so they are ready to enter the workplace means more than just passing exams. Self-discipline, confidence, problem-solving, teamwork and good communication skills are all vital qualities to employers. These students have all these – they really have done themselves and the Fire Service proud this week. And of course we can’t forget the dedicated people from both East North East Homes Leeds and WYFRS who support these schemes – they also deserve recognition."

ENDS