29 September 2016


There has been an ongoing drought of talent within the Fire and Security sector. As a result, simple supply and demand will increase salaries to a level that employers can’t afford.

We must flood our sector with skills to enable businesses to remain competitive and provide sustainable careers with longevity and opportunity. Apprentices for Fire & Security (A4FS) is your one stop shop for future talent. Designed to simplify and umbrella all new and existing Fire and Security Apprentice activities, A4FS encompasses; the Engineers of Tomorrow Competition held annually at IFSEC, the new Government Trailblazer programme and the A4FS recruitment web portal.

Previously known as the ‘100 in 100 Apprenticeships’, Apprentices for Fire & Security was founded by CSL’s Group Managing Director Simon Banks. Since its inception the campaign has placed over 4,000 16 to 24 year olds into careers within the Fire and Security sector. In its new form as Apprentices for Fire & Security – the initiative provides access to a national network of training providers. All the barriers and objections have been removed to make it even easier to employ an Apprentice. With the skills gap widening and the price for rare talent increasing, the importance of bringing new talent into the sector is vital. More Apprentices entering the industry will mean fairer salaries, more skills and more choice so everyone wins. Apprentices for Fire & Security is supported by stakeholders: BSIA, NSI, SSAIB, FIA, FPA, UBM and BAFE.

Engineers of Tomorrow champions the most skilled security professional of the future. The competition, which takes place each year at IFSEC International at London Excel, provides participants with a global stage on which they get to compete against their peers and represent their company. Competitors undertake a 90 minute assessment, working in pairs to review a previously installed intruder alarm system and identify any faults, before re-commissioning the system and finishing with any additional security and safety measures. The finalists from the competition are then invited to attend the prestigious Security Excellence Awards for a chance to be named as the winners and scoop the £1,000 cash prize.

The Government Trailblazer programme will provide our industry the unique opportunity to create a new academic curriculum for our future Apprentices to study from 2017. The Trailblazer is employer driven, designed specifically to make the Apprenticeship more responsive to business needs and the demands of future technologies. The delivery of the Apprenticeship will be through a national network of training providers, colleges, private company academies and endpoint assessment centres. Every Apprentice must be given access to a clear programme of academia to support their everyday practical learning experience. When complete these young people have a recession-resistant career for life that can span multiple disciplines.

A4FS is encouraging young people to get in and go far with an Apprenticeship in the Fire and Security sector. To find out more about how you can protect your business against the industry’s skills gap visit:

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