Wearside students will be put through their paces on a new front line course.
Sunderland College is the first in the region to launch a training programme aimed at helping young people work in the uniformed services.
This is a one-of-a-kind course.Christ Tubbrit
The college is teaming up with a range of armed forces and emergency blue-light services to offer the 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 lack the skills and training needed.
The traineeship will open up a number of doors for the young people, including opportunities to join the RAF’s apprenticeship scheme and guaranteed fast-track interviews for the army.
Chris Tubbrit, the college’s curriculum leader for public services, has been working closely with a number of organisations 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 traineeship involves 100 hours of work experience, including a five-day residential trip with the army at Catterick Garrison.
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 will include learning to respond to a chemical incident, a drugs and weapon security session, scenario training and casualty care.
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.
The college launches the traineeship on January 25 and is expected to run the programme twice a year, in August and January.
Anyone interested is invited to attend an information and induction session on Tuesday, January 12, from 4.30-7pm, at Bede Campus, or call the college’s employability team on 0191 511 6478.