A top military training facility has decamped to a new base at North Yorkshire – and students are already signing up for the free courses it offers.
The Military Preparation College at Bishop Auckland has relocated to Catterick Garrison.
And, with 21 learners now on board and more preparing to enrol, it is set to reach its capacity of 75 within the coming weeks.
Military Preparation Colleges are run by Government-funded training provider MPCT and offer free courses to help 16 to 19-year-olds, of all abilities and from all backgrounds, into a wide range of careers, both within the military and in civilian life.
These include academic, functional and health and fitness courses along with training in physical fitness, public speaking and communication.
With no set term times, young people can enrol when they like and leave when they are fully prepared for whatever career they have chosen.
And they are unique in that all their instructors are ex-British Armed Forces personnel, who use their military backgrounds to help learners set and reach the targets that will progress them to their chosen careers.
The new college is located within the long-established army base at Catterick and North East area manager and former Sandhurst instructor, Lawrence Corbett, said the move is great news for the region.
“We have established strong links with ITC Catterick and as such they have been supporting our learners with virtual engagement live sessions since mid-June,” he said.
“In addition, the Scots Guards are providing Military Skills support every Wednesday, so our students really are learning the ropes from the very best in the British Army.”
Since their launch in 1999, the 35 Military Preparation Colleges across England and Wales have prepared more than 4000 young people for a military career and helped at least a further 12,000 into other areas of employment and training.
There are Military Preparation Colleges at:
Newcastle, Sunderland, Bishop Auckland/Catterick, Teesside, Manchester, Liverpool, Walsall, Dudley, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Gloucester, Bristol, Aldershot, Croydon, Battersea, Edgware, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Eastbourne, Southampton, Stoke, Nottingham, and the Isle of Wight.
Bangor, Wrexham, Cardiff, Newport, Merthyr-Tydfil, Swansea, and Bridgend