From education to employment

New Funding Ploughed Into Defence Staff Training at Defence Academy

A new investment of £366 million into educating service and civilian personnel has been announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The investment comes in the form of a contract for the Defence College of Management and Training (DCMT) which will see the MoD deliver education and training to approximately 4,000 students each year. It will serve to offer a coherent focus for all training in management, technology and leadership education, and will cover 80 different courses on subjects such as defence technology, information management, strategic leadership, acquisition management and security studies.

Defence Minister on “Complex Environment”

The Defence Minister, Don Touhig MP, said: “We expect our Armed Forces to operate in an increasingly complex and demanding environment. We can”t ask this of our Service personnel, and the civilians who support them, unless we invest in their ongoing training and development.

“This contract,” he continued, “provides access to the very best postgraduate education and the flexibility to help equip our people to meet these challenges.” The contract is set to benefit individuals at all levels and ages in the Royal Navy, the Army, the Royal Air Force and the Civil Service. There will be a mixture of residential and non ““ residential courses provided that are intended to meet the changing demands of today’s learner.

Mr. Touhig continued: “The contract represents another major step for the Defence Academy and its Defence College of Management and Technology, which operate at the leading edge of higher level education. It underlines the Ministry of Defence’s drive to make our people feel valued ““ and providing continued development, challenge and support is a key part of that.”

Review of Training in Defence

The MoD, it seems, is taking to heart the statement made by Professor Ian Angell to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Conference on the 26th of October 2000: “Education prepares us to cope with uncertainty.” The Defence Academy was formed in 2002 and resulted from the Defence Training Review of 2001. This review stated: “We need a common education policy for defence to promote common educational opportunities for all personnel, Service or civilian, irrespective of location.”

To meet this demand, the military and academic community of the Defence Academy will provide education in strategy, leadership, management and in the use of technology in defence matters. With the growing need for distance learning, the programme will work with the Open University (OU) to offer a more flexible learning package. The new contract will replace the former academic and educational contract, which expires in July 2006, and will run for a period of 22 years.

The British Armed Forces are called upon by our Government and us, the general public, to defend our lives, homes and belief in freedom and democracy. Given the growth in overseas commitments recently, distance learning may be more necessary than ever if the MoD is not to experience a losing battle to retain their best personnel. Perhaps, by offering the best training and education provision for all personnel, recruitment and retention of the best and brightest will become possible once again.

Jethro Marsh

Present FE arms in the FE Blog

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