Birmingham uni launches new fire engineering course

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A new fire engineering course has been launched by Birmingham City University to address post-Grenfell skills shortage concerns

The part-time higher-level degree apprenticeship in fire engineering, developed in partnership between the National Fire Chiefs Council and the UK’s commercial fire engineering industrial sector, will commence in September 2021.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry has highlighted the growing need for fire engineers.

The public inquiry and the investigations into the Grenfell tragedy have identified a massive competency gap and an opportunity for people to acquire new skills.

The degree course is suited to those currently working in the fire and rescue service and in consultancies, who wish to take full advantage of their work experience and gain a formal qualification, with the support of their employer.

‘A fresh new approach to address this skills gap’

Angus Sangster, senior fire safety engineering manager at International Fire Consultants, said: “The tragic events around Grenfell Tower in London has brought the need for competent fire engineering professionals into sharp focus.

“As with many true engineering disciplines there has been a steady decline in the numbers of students pursuing a career in fire engineering.

“The fire safety engineering apprenticeship is a fresh new approach to address this skills gap, rooted in workplace experience while studying for a full Bachelor of engineering degree.

Mike Leonard, visiting Professor in manufacturing and construction at Birmingham City University, added: “The ongoing public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy, highlights the importance of fire safety in the built environment.

“The Fire Safety Bill and Building Safety Bill and the introduction of a building products regulator confirms the need for a very significant increase in skilled fire professionals.

“This new Birmingham City University apprenticeship will be strongly supported by employers, who can fund the training through the Apprentice Levy and by students who can earn while they learn the skills for this critical profession.”

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