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Name: Chris Reynolds

Works for: LINK Smoke Control

Course: FESST apprenticeship (Fire Emergency & Security Systems)


Year: 1

Discipline: Fire only

“ We have always liked to take on apprentices, we find it refreshing to train people up who have a passion for the fire industry.  It’s always nice to see them gain knowledge over the course of their apprenticeship and it’s always great to pass down knowledge from senior engineers to the next generation.  We really like the process and course blocks with Skills for Security – it works really well for our business.“

Rizza Clark, Office Manager and Chris Mentor

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Why did you choose the FESST apprenticeship?

I started off doing a level 2 electrical installer course in college when I saw this level 3 apprenticeship advertised with LINK Smoke Control – it seemed like the perfect next step for me in my career. Electrical is quite broad whereas fire is a more specialist area which really appeals to me.

The nature of the business also really appealed to me, LINK Smoke Control is privately owned and family run, which I prefer versus being a small cog in a big wheel. I am one of five engineers within the team.

I also liked the prospect of being in a class of engineers from other companies – we come together for one week in every eight at the Watford training centre – it’s great to share experiences with similar people.

How are you enjoying the course?

I’m really enjoying it, especially the practical room – my Tutor Kyle really pushes me to further my knowledge as much as possible – not just what’s in our workbook – but also additional tasks too.

When I go back to LINK Smoke Control after my week at the training centre, my work colleagues always ask what was covered in centre and I show pictures of the panels and systems which I have worked on and I run through what was covered during the week. My Managing Director will then take what I have learned and push this further in my day to day work.

What are the best parts of the course?

A highlight for me is constantly being pushed by my Tutor Kyle – the challenges I have to work through leave me feeling mentally stimulated.

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What has been your favourite bit of tech or kit whilst on the course so far?

In the training centre, I have really enjoyed working on Kentec panels. When on-site, I enjoy using the Advanced fire software – it’s really intuitive to use.

Tell us about your day to day work with LINK Smoke Control.

I am always with an experienced engineer carrying out a mix of fire installs and maintenance, mainly working at schools, care homes and flats – generally some big systems. We work from the top of London all the way through to some sites in Brighton, Canterbury and Ramsgate. The variety that comes with the role is brilliant.

What do you want to do when you finish the course?

I’d like to be able to train others, whilst still working for LINK Smoke Control. I see myself becoming a  multi-skilled engineer working on systems such as smoke ventilation, extinguishers, install and maintenance.

How would you recommend the apprenticeship course to someone considering it?

An apprenticeship course is the best thing to go for – you have the chance to earn whilst you learn. With Skills for Security, you really get pushed along the way too, with a good mix of theory and practical. You gain a massive range of knowledge, including industry standards.

The apprenticeship is a very personal experience – I can’t recommend it highly enough.

"An apprenticeship course is the best thing to go for – you have the chance to earn whilst you learn.  With Skills for Security, you really get pushed along the way too, with a good mix of theory and practical.”

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