To answer this question, the Fire Industry Association (FIA) undertook a survey to understand just how widespread the lack of skills in the industry really is.
Anecdotally within the fire industry, there had been numerous stories from a range of different companies all saying the same thing: that recruitment was hard. Adverts for jobs could go unanswered for weeks – and when they were answered, it was clear that the applicants were missing experience or skills that employers needed.
Something had to be done.
But the problem was – all these stories were scattered. There was no way of measuring how deep the problem ran and if it was a national or a regional problem. In addition, although it seemed like it was the whole industry acting as an echo chamber, there was nothing in place to measure which industries were the hardest hit.
After consulting with a few employers and engaging with a range of companies, the FIA launched a survey to discover and accurately measure which sectors, and which regions, were the most badly affected by the lack of skills.
The results gave some surprising and interesting insight. The hypothesis was true: different regions were hit in different ways. And the skills gap affected a whole range of different job roles and functions, too.
In order to deal with this huge skills gap hitting the UK, the FIA has been developing a range of qualifications for those that wish to design, install, maintain, and commission fire alarm systems. Take a look at this infographic that explains it in more detail:
How bad is the skills gap? Find out: watch the webinar 31st May where FIA CEO Ian Moore will be explaining the results of the survey and discussing the wider issues of recruitment and a lack of skills in the industry.