The Army Cadet Force Association have linked up with Plymouth-based training provider, Skills Group, to offer army cadets support to take up local apprenticeship opportunities across Devon and Cornwall.
Cadet detachments throughout Devon and Cornwall will be trialling ‘The Skills Development & Apprenticeship Scheme’ for their 16 year old cadets who start an apprenticeship with a Skills Group employer. Bursaries will be available via the Association to cadets who need financial support with travel, PPE (personal protective equipment) and any tools or specialist kit they need for their career.
Across the two counties there are 1,500 army cadets. Most join the Army Cadet Force when they are 12, leaving when they reach 18. Not all cadets have a further education or career plan beyond the age of 16, so the Army Cadet Force Association has linked up with Skills Group to pilot offering apprenticeship opportunities to their cadets.
Brigadier David Short CBE, General Secretary of the Army Cadet Force Association, said: “The skills, qualifications and achievements young people gain during their time as an army cadet, together with their core values of trust, selflessness and personal resilience, are all vital attributes to a potential employer. As our cadets prepare for adulthood and future employment, it is hoped this new initiative – in partnership with Skills Group – will provide an alternative gateway that offers cadets the chance to build on these attributes and secure future employment.”
Mandy Kerslake, Skills Group Apprenticeship Manager, said: “This is an exciting initiative that will hopefully help more young people hear about the career opportunities offered by apprenticeships.
“Apprenticeships are a great opportunity to secure a real job with training. They give young people the opportunity to earn a wage whilst they are being trained and gaining real hands-on work experience.
“Recently published research also shows that apprenticeships are a sure way of getting your foot onto the careers ladder, with over three-quarters of apprentices being offered permanent posts after finishing their training.”
Cadets registering for the Skills Development & Apprenticeship Scheme will be invited to attend a weekend course in August. The aim of the course will be to help the cadet’s brush up their interview skills and produce portfolios of their achievements during their time with the Army Cadets. In addition, Skills Group career advisors will talk to the cadets about the many different apprenticeships available, and what employers are looking for.
Skills Group works with top local employers, offering apprenticeships in business administration, care and early years, construction, engineering and automotive, hairdressing, sport and leisure, and teaching and education. There are currently over 180 vacancies across Devon and Cornwall, which can be seen on Skills Group’s dedicated recruitment website, www.apprenticeships4me.com.