Positively affecting change in the fire prevention industry with a dedicated mentor and traineeship program

The current Australian skills shortage issue has been reported on at length. Various industries are looking across international borders for people to fill critical skills gaps in the Australian workforce.

The situation within the fire prevention industry which has been worsened by the effects of COVID-19 is no different.

Our Managing Director, Tom Marshall, says, “We can do more by building programs that stimulate knowledge transfer to a new generation of the Australian workforce.”

Lady fixing the fire extinguisher


We have undertaken an initiative whereby school and university leavers can apply for a position within DEM Fire whilst studying for the necessary engineering qualifications.

The idea behind this commitment is to stimulate knowledge transfer between the generations and to prompt interest and growth in the fire prevention and fire protection industry, which is also under significant pressure as a niche – but necessary – sector.

We are thrilled to welcome our first candidate, Casey Sessions, and are looking forward to finding our second candidate within the next month.

Going back to basics

Youth unemployment rates over the past few months have reached levels previously seen during the 2008 financial crisis, according to the ABS (Australia Bureau of Statistics).

“We need to take a step back in time and find ways to nurture and mentor individuals committed to growing their careers. I started in this industry as a trainee fire protection engineer. I worked my way through the business, understanding every department and its function, which is important knowledge to impart to the next generation of DEM Fire. If we don’t prioritise these sorts of initiatives, there will be no one to take over what we’ve built over the last 20 plus years.”

Casey agrees. She says, “The opportunity I have been afforded – to be able to work and gain work experience across the various departments within the business, plus be able to study simultaneously – is what stood out for me.” Casey will become a fire safety expert in fire protection design, fire protection systems and systems installation. She will also be trained in fire asset management and fire compliance during her training with DEM Fire, which she will be able to apply to her engineering qualification.

Fire prevention

Industry specific

Very little is known, and even less is understood, about the fire prevention industry. This sentiment is ironic, especially after the disastrous fires of the Quakers Hills Nursing Home, Bankstown West Terrace, Grenfell Tower and Melbourne Lacrosse fires, all of which are driving significant change in the fire prevention and fire protection industry.

The industry has also undergone much change and will continue to evolve as far as regulation and accreditation are concerned, unfortunately being impacted by poor building practices currently under significant legislative review.

As business owners, we have a responsibility to the next workforce generation

Twenty-year-old Casey believes that more could be done at the school level for years 9 and 10, as this is when the university and career conversations are happening. “It would be so great if we were made aware of more initiatives like this when discussing university options and future careers at school. To get this sort of information would mean asking specific questions of specific people who may differ from school to school. It would be great to see more of these opportunities available across Australia.”

We are working within our local community school network and will expand this program’s reach further afield in the future. We believe it is crucial for individuals starting in their careers to understand that no one size fits all. There are alternative options to kick start and grow your career with the necessary work experience whilst studying for a quality, essential and relevant qualification.

If you’re looking to start and grow your career in fire prevention and engineering as a trainee or to fill one of our other available positions, then please chat with us.

Contact DEM Fire & Essential Services Group

Need more information? Get in touch