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New course equips students for uniformed services

(left to right) Sergeant Martin Gibbins, RAF Recruitment and Engagement, Lance Bombardier Sonia Oliver, Army Recruitment and Training Division, Chris Tubbrit, Sunderland College’s Curriculum Leader for Public Services, and Private Adam Gibson, 3 Medical Regiment

Sunderland College is the first in the region to launch a bespoke training programme aimed at helping young people secure employment in the uniformed services.

The college is teaming up with a range of armed forces and emergency blue light services to offer the unique intensive eight-week course beginning in January.

It is designed for 16 to 24-year-olds who have a keen interest in the uniformed services but do not yet have the necessary skills and training for a career in this area.

The traineeship will open up a number of doors for the students, including opportunities to join the RAF’s apprenticeship scheme, leading to permanent employment, and guaranteed fast track interviews for full-time positions in the army.

Chris Tubbrit, the college’s curriculum leader for public services, has been working closely with a number of organisations including the RAF, British Army, Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), Northumbria Police, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and HM Prison Service, to create a tailored course centred around work experience and developing students’ practical skills.

He said: “This is a one-of-a-kind course that offers everything young people need to make an informed career choice. The students will have continual face-to-face training with employers through high-quality work placements, and they will learn a range of skills that will enhance their aspirations and career opportunities.

“The uniformed services traineeship is open to all people aged between 16 and 24, with specialised training and guidance for those who are currently unemployed.”

The traineeship involves 100 hours of work experience, including a five-day residential trip with the army at Catterick Garrison where students will live like soldiers and take part in camping, drill, fitness and work routines, as well as scenario training and team building activities.

Other placements include a day with HART where students will learn how to respond to a chemical incident, a drugs and weapon security session with the prison service’s dog handling unit, scenario training and casualty care with 251 Medical Squadron army reserves, and taster sessions with the RAF.

Sergeant Martin Gibbins, from RAF Recruitment and Engagement, said: “The uniformed services traineeship well prepares the students and instils in them the personal qualities required of a long career in the Royal Air Force as well as other public service organisations.”

In addition to the work experience opportunities, the course offers training in English and maths, and will help develop students’ job search, CV, interview and money management skills.

As well as fast-track and apprenticeship interviews in the army and RAF, students who successfully complete the traineeship will have the opportunity to join one of the college’s public services courses, in order to gain a professional and technical qualification.

Chris added: “This course really is designed to get the best out of our students and to provide them with a platform for securing a career in the uniformed services. We have created this traineeship over a number of months, taking in expert advice from organisations and incorporating our own expertise to create a bespoke course that is relevant and beneficial to our students.”

The college launches the traineeship on 25 January and is expected to run the programme twice a year, in August and January.

People interested in joining the uniformed services traineeship are invited to attend an information and induction session on Tuesday 12 January from 4.30-7pm at Bede Campus. For more information about the session or course, click here or contact the college’s employability team on 0191 5116478 or email employability@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk

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