Firefighter recruitment drive to be launched in Tyne and Wear to hire new generation of fire and rescue crews

A new generation of firefighters is being recruited to keep us safe – for only the second time in a decade.

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 2:31 pm

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is set to launch a recruitment drive later this year.

The move follows a similar exercise in 2018 – which was the first recruitment drive in nearly a decade.

From a pool of thousands of applicants, 23 newly-trained firefighters were selected and recently qualified in their ‘Passing out Parade’ this year.

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Assistant Chief Fire Officer John Baines said the new recruitment drive will implement lessons learned from the previous process.

This includes providing a “point of entry” for a range of backgrounds across Tyne and Wear.

“We know across the UK that diversification of workforce remains a challenge and we’re committed to working to address that going forward,” he said.

“The bottom line in all of this is that we attract the highest-quality candidates and the very best people for the job.”

Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service HQ

The comments came at the TWFRS Human Resources Committee on July 22.

The fire boss also confirmed that previously unsuccessful applicants can reapply for positions.

According to documents prepared for the committee, a total budget of £230,000 has been set to cover the cost of recruitment activities – ranging from training costs and salaries to promotion.

The new recruitment campaign will be managed through an online portal with testing provided through the Fire Service College.

It is anticipated the campaign that will be developed in collaboration with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.

And prospective recruits will be able to apply once the campaign launches later this financial year.

The move was welcomed by several councillors, including South Tyneside’s Wilf Flynn.

“After years of not recruiting and not being able to recruit, it’s great we’re doing it again and that last year wasn’t just a one off,” he said.

A TWFRS Spokesperson added: “A new recruitment campaign is being planned to take place before the end of the financial year, March 2020.

“Further details on exact timings and numbers will be confirmed later this year.”