Throughout July and August, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) hosted a second cohort of interns as part its Summer Internship Scheme. As part of this programme, five young people from Berkshire joined the Service for five-week placements.
The Summer Internship Scheme encourages young people who may not have considered a career in the fire and rescue sector to explore some of the many roles available to them. This particular scheme was therefore open to young people from Berkshire aged 16-17 from ethnic groups that are currently under-represented in the Service. From just over 50 applications, five young people offered placements for the second intake of this three-year pilot scheme.
During their five weeks, interns took part in a number of different activities, aimed at increasing their awareness of the range of work undertaken by colleagues across the Service. The interns visited five different fire stations over the course of their placements, where crews and cadet instructors led a range of activities that provided both informative learning input as well as fun demonstrations.
At the end of the five weeks, interns were presented with certificates at an event to celebrate the completion of their internships. They also worked together on a presentation about their experience in the fire and rescue service, which was delivered to members of the Fire Authority, the Chief Fire Officer and staff from across the Service.
Nikki Richards, Deputy Chief Executive, said: “It’s been a pleasure to welcome these five young people into the Service this summer. They’ve proactively engaged with all our teams, developed important professional skills and supported the delivery of our services. Their enthusiasm for both the internship and the Service has been brilliant to see.
“This was the second year of a three year pilot programme and we have already seen a number of benefits. The scheme has broadened our insight into working with young people and some of the diverse communities within Berkshire. This depth of understanding will support us in better delivering our services and developing new recruitment pathways into the Service.”
Councillor Jeff Brooks, Chair of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, said: “We were delighted to welcome this group of young people to RBFRS over the summer period.
“Most of them had never considered a role in the fire service, and so this programme provided an insight into the many different roles available within the service at a time when they may be thinking about their futures.
All of them showed tremendous commitment in everything we asked them to do, and we all saw them grow in confidence and expertise during the internship. I know they will have gained a lot from their time with us, but it is also true to say that we learnt a lot from them. I wish them everything of the best for their future careers.”
The Scheme was developed using direct feedback from the young people themselves, both from last year’s cohort and through engagement sessions at local schools and community groups in Berkshire. At these sessions, young people shared their views on the Service and the scheme itself, giving the team a greater understanding of the challenges and motivations that prospective interns may face. To find out more, please visit our website.