Following its inaugural sponsorship of South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) Fire Engineering Apprentice of the Year award in 2020, Nittan Europe is pleased to announce its continued support of the award across five years. As part of the sponsorship, Nittan has supplied a trophy and a prize, plus donated over 80 fire alarm products for students to train on.
This year’s Fire Engineering Apprentice of the Year was Megan Davidson, who was presented with the trophy alongside 2020’s winner Adam Smylie who was unable to collect his award last year due to Covid restrictions. Stuart Rankin, Deputy Head of School for Construction, Engineering Services and Skills for Work at SERC, said “Both of these students have represented the college and their employers at regional and national level. They are excellent apprentices within the college and a real asset to their employers. Both were very deserving of the award”. He added: “On behalf of the college I would like to send my thanks to Nittan for support and arranging the ‘Nittan Shield’.”
SERC, based in Northern Ireland, provides a wide range of courses, apprenticeships and professional development training. The college has close links with fire and security companies which enables students and apprentices on relevant programmes to gain valuable knowledge and experience.
Tutored by Fire and Security Lecturer Robin Hamill, the fire alarm apprenticeship programme requires students to attend SERC one day a week for four years whilst working towards Level 2 and Level 3 City & Guilds in Electronic Security and Emergency Systems qualifications. To recognise the apprentice who has worked the hardest and excelled in all levels – but not necessarily the person who has the highest grades – the Fire Engineering Apprentice of the Year award was introduced in 2020 and has proven to be a welcome encouragement; so much so, that Nittan is pleased to continue sponsoring it until 2025.
Nittan was introduced to Robin Hamill of SERC through its Elite Partner in Northern Ireland, Solutions for Systems – an independently owned business providing design, supply, installation, commissioning, integration and maintenance of fire, security, electrical and satellite & aerial communication systems. Solutions for Systems has a close working relationship with SERC and has actively supported the fire and security engineering apprenticeships by helping lecturers to develop demonstration models and help promote the programmes. Both Nittan and Solutions for Systems have contributed £100 each in gift vouchers for the Fire Engineering Apprentice of the Year award winners.
Whilst the trophy and prize recognise the achievement of one particular, stand-out apprentice each year, all apprentices benefit from Nittan’s sponsorship through the range of fire detection products it has supplied the college for students to learn and practice on. This includes Evolution EVC-P optical detectors with internal current limiting resistor, and the award winning Nittan Evolution EVC-DP detectors with dual optical technology to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. A range of heat detectors, detector bases, sounders, beacon and mounted call points have also been supplied. To provide students with the full system experience on which to train, fire alarm control panels were supplied by Solutions for Systems.
Nittan’s Regional Sales Manager (North), Steve McCarley, has worked closely with both SERC and Solutions for Systems to ensure the college has the products it needs to train the apprentices on and to get the Fire Engineering Apprentice of the Year award underway. “Now more than ever, we need to ensure young people have the training resources they need to be able to learn and develop their skills” says Steve. “The fire industry represents a good career choice with engineers always in demand. We value the work being done by SERC, and by our Elite Partner installers such as Solutions for Systems who take the time to support these apprentices.”