Steven Brenchley, a second-year bricklaying apprentice at Pembrokeshire College, will travel to Bosnia in June for 10 days to assist with the construction of a fire station in Tometino Polje, Western Serbia.
The project has been organized by Cyfle Building Skills, an award-winning apprenticeship programme delivering training and skilled workers for the construction industry in south and west Wales.
It is also in conjunction with Dyfed Fire and Rescue Service, local construction training groups (DTG, CCTAL and SBCSG) and Carmarthenshire Fire charity, Blazing to Serbia.
Steven is one of four apprentices selected from across south and west Wales to take part in the paid placement, and is extremely excited about the opportunity: “it is very rewarding to work on a project like this, and it will be great experience to add to my CV”.
“It will be a culture shock, and it will be interesting to see how we all work together and overcome communication barriers in a completely new environment”.
With a population of less than 400 people, the rural village is located more than an 8-hour drive away from the nearest fire tender. Paul Falzon, Cyfle’s coordinator for Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, explains that the country’s excessive heat often leads to dangerous forest fires, so the project will “give the residents a fighting chance of containing it”.
“The project will provide a learning curve to all apprentices involved, allowing them to build their confidence, leadership and team working skills”.