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Best Trainee Modern Apprentice reflects on her experiences

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Colette Dunglinson graduated after 14 weeks of training alongside 33 other trainees and was awarded Best Trainee Modern Apprentice for the intake.

She has since taken her place at Dumfries Community Fire Station and continues her modern apprenticeship with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Speaking about her experience so far, Colette said: “I’ve really enjoyed learning new skills. I recently completed my swift water rescue course. This is a specialist skill at my station and completing this course has allowed me to be a more active team member if this type of emergency happened in our area."

Firefighters who have joined the Service since April 2018 are recognised as modern apprentices and undertake a three-year development programme.

In Scotland, Modern Apprenticeships combine in work training and experience with a recognised SVQ qualification. As our trainee firefighter development programme already contains these elements, this enabled a Firefighter Modern Apprenticeship framework to be developed without adjustment to our current programme, including entry criteria.

Colette’s experience as a retained firefighter prepared her for the modern apprenticeship and her career as a wholetime firefighter. She said: “I spent three years as a retained firefighter, and this gave me insight into what the job was all about. I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of the job, from community safety to emergency call outs, and from gaining experience on the job I knew this was the career I wanted to pursue on a full-time basis."

At present, the Service has 736 modern apprentice firefighters in the programme. Colette would encourage others to consider an apprenticeship in the fire service, she said: "I would encourage anyone looking to seek an Apprenticeship within the service, it’s a great way to learn and progress in a rewarding career. The teamwork, camaraderie, professionalism, and banter I’ve experienced so far is something which makes going to work enjoyable and every day brings something new."

If you’d like to find out more about apprenticeships and the careers available at the fire service visit: https://www.firescotland.gov.uk/careers/

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