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Qualifications and training must be at the forefront of BAFSA activities so that our continued promotion of the benefits of fire sprinklers is not to be wasted. This is now taking place and the establishment of the first upskilling award in Wales where those already working within the plumbing sector can gain additional new skills to work in the domestic sprinkler sector is an important start.
The next step which BAFSA is already focussing on is the development of national qualifications aimed initially at installation. BAFSA is also considering the introduction of a skills passport which will allow BAFSA members to share their skills and knowledge alongside them developing new skills within the industry.
Crucially however members, too, need to get involved. Investment and support is needed to ensure the maintenance and growth of the fire sprinkler industry.
One such challenge for the future is an aging workforce. An aging workforce means people retiring from the sector, taking their skills, knowledge and vast experience with them. With little or no widespread and industry led focus on the development of skills and qualifications there is an urgent need to attract a new generation of young people into all areas of industry including installation, design, project management and maintenance. In doing so we will be ensuring that the workforce remains fit for purpose and ready for the challenges ahead.
BAFSA have already established that there is a shortage of young people within the industry and therefore focus is needed now to ensure the industry raises its profile to encourage and show those looking for job opportunities that the fire sprinkler industry is a career to look forward to. Establishing clear career pathways will offer potential recruits a glimpse of the diverse range of opportunities within the industry.
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