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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service changes firefighter recruitment process; SFRS moves to year-round recruitment to meet local workforce needs


By Hector MacKenzie

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Liz Barnes with trainees.
Liz Barnes with trainees.

THE Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is changing how it recruits whole-time firefighters to further enhance the safety of communities.

The service will move away from national intakes which traditionally took place over a four-week period, resulting in up to 6000 applications from across Scotland.

Recruitment will now be open year-round with shifting regional focuses through the East, North and West of the country aimed at meeting local workforce needs.

The change will also ensure more regular intakes of new firefighters who are not only trained to protect their communities but work to prevent risk from occurring, SFRS said today in a statement.

This comes as the service prepares to open recruitment for wholetime firefighters, with a focus on the North and East of Scotland, later this month.

“We are putting firefighter recruitment back into the communities we protect, with localised recruitment efforts based entirely on local needs.Rather than recruiting nationally and selecting candidates from a larger pool of applicants, we will now be targeting our recruitment at where it is needed most." – Liz Barnes

Liz Barnes is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Director of People and Organisational Development.

She said: “We are putting firefighter recruitment back into the communities we protect, with localised recruitment efforts based entirely on local needs.

“Rather than recruiting nationally and selecting candidates from a larger pool of applicants, we will now be targeting our recruitment at where it is needed most.

“This means that our firefighters will be recruited from the area, train in the area, and work in the area they applied for -and by moving to open-recruitment, we can ensure a steady influx of trainees into the service who will go on to protect their communities.”

The organisation is changing how it goes about recruitment.
The organisation is changing how it goes about recruitment.

While recruitment will remain open year-round, applicants will prioritised for the region that is currently recruiting – applicants should not apply if they are not prepared to work in the recruiting area.

Anyone who wishes to apply for the role will be able to see which area the Service is currently recruiting for online, through the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service website or social media, or on the national recruitment platform MyJobScotland.

Director Barnes continued: “It is absolutely vital that anyone who wishes to apply does so at the right time. For example, if we are currently recruiting in the North of Scotland, you should not apply if you are living in Glasgow and unwilling to work in the North of the country.

“Instead, take the time to work on your application, and make sure that it is the best it can be ahead of recruitment opening for the area in which you wish to work.”

Selected applicants will undergo a series of online psychometric tests designed to test their suitability for the role of a firefighter.

Candidates will then attend regional practical selection and selection centres.

More details on the opening of wholetime recruitment will be announced this week.

Director Barnes added: “This is an incredible opportunity for people to work in and protect the communities that they know and love.”

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