William Eichler 13 March 2018

Fire services must ‘diversify’ their workforces, council chiefs say

Local authority leaders have called for the recruitment of more women and people from minority backgrounds to ensure fire and rescue services are fit for the twenty-first century.

The fire and rescue service firefighter workforce is currently 95% male and 96% white — a fact the service describes as ‘not acceptable’.

The Local Government Association’s (LGA) Fire Vision 2024 has called for 30% of new recruits to be women by the middle of the next decade.

This requires, the document states, a ‘cultural transformation’ in the service.

Fire Vision 2024 also emphasised that the services’ workforce should reflect the ethnic diversity of the community they serve.

Unveiled today at the LGA’s Fire Conference in Gateshead, the new plan is designed to diversify the services’ workforce so that it ‘represents the communities they serve.’

Commenting on the new plans, Cllr Ian Stephens, chair of the LGA’s Fire Services Management Committee, said: ‘It’s essential our fire and rescue services represent the communities we serve.

‘Fire and Rescue Authorities are keen to recruit an increasingly diverse workforce after several years during which recruitment has been on hold.’

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