THE first ten recruits to a new apprenticeship scheme in high-risk safety management have graduated from their initial training and joined the on-site protection team at one of the region's leading chemicals companies.

CFB Risk Management has a contract to provide site protection services at Ineos Nitriles at Seal Sands where the ten apprentice site protection officers have now been placed.

Aged between 19 and 27, the apprentices come from across Tees Valley and were selected from more than 100 applicants. Their families and senior Cleveland Fire Brigade management heard them praised highly at a graduation ceremony to mark the end of their initial training course.

Course Manager Davey Veitch, said: “I am very proud of all of them. They have shown a high level of maturity, commitment and effort and earned themselves the respect of everyone who came into contact with them at the Training Centre.

“It has been a great start to our new Apprenticeship Scheme and bodes well for the future as it is vital we maintain the highest level of skill in our workforce."

Richard Smedley, aged 22 from Sedgefield, said: “This apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity to acquire the skills I need for a very worthwhile career. Having already had some experience as a retained fire-fighter I knew it was something I really wanted to do and was delighted to win a place when there was so much competition.”

The apprentices are Jack McTiernan and Richard Jones from Middlesbrough; Richard Smedley, Sedgefield; Jack Walker and Ryan Teschner, Redcar; Joel McAllister, Skelton; Josh Brown, Marske; Jack Peacock, Darlington; Jordan Craddy, Hartlepool and Thomas Pattison from Billingham.

They were previously employed in jobs ranging from tailoring, joinery and pathology to customer services and lifeguard roles whilst others recently graduated from university.

CFB Risk Management provides a range of risk management services to blue-chip companies operating in the high hazard sector, including oil and gas, petrochemical and nuclear to protect their workforce, premises and production.