Young tenants from two Wiltshire housing associations hope to make the most of their new skills, after completing Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Salamander course.

A passing-out parade was held at the end of the three-week course last Friday when they could demonstrate their new skills in front of families, friends, housing association officials and senior fire officers.

The tenants also gained nationally recognised qualifications in first aid through the British Red Cross and health and safety and food safety through Wiltshire Enterprise.

Selwood tenant Damien Mence, 26, said: “It’s been really amazing and a great experience. I have learned a lot of new skills and I want to become a firefighter, so it’s really helped me.

“It’s great that Selwood and Aster have been able to offer this.

“It has really been a life-changing experience and made me more confident.”

Salamander was originally designed as a youth engagement programme, with people taking part tackling a variety of challenges based on basic firefighter training, to build self-esteem and develop leadership and communication skills.

The collaboration with Devizes-based Aster Communities and Trowbridge based Selwood Housing has had the same focus and it is hoped that those completing the course will be able to use the experience to find jobs.