New academy gives East Lancashire youngsters an authentic taste of Army discipline (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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New academy gives East Lancashire youngsters an authentic taste of Army discipline
ARMY recruits of the future are being trained to tackle tough terrain at a one-of-a-kind military-style academy.
Accrington and Rossendale College’s Military Academy, believed to be only one in the North West, sees teenagers drilled into ‘military ready’ candidates .
Since the academy was launched 12 months ago — complete with uniforms, drills and military rules — its popularity has increased.
The six-month courses have seen 70 per cent of students either enter the military or the application process.
Now, schools are contacting course leaders to request day release sessions.
The course provides participants with a Level One Diploma in Entry to Uniformed Services and a first aid at work certificate.
Course leader Chris Ashworth said the course bridged the gap between the fitness level teenagers achieve at school and that expected in the military.
He said: “Word is spreading about what we do and it is becoming popular, even though we have only been going 12 months. Part of it is about busting the myth that it is easy to get a job in the armed services. That has never really been the case and selection is competitive.
“Though the armed services are not necessarily interested in qualifications or experience, they want a very specific type of person to train up.
“That person is someone who is good at team work and has a good fitness level. When we tell people they need to be able to run a mile and a half in 10 minutes they can be surprised, but that’s actually just the minimum requirement.”
As well as physical training, former servicemen and women running the course also teach teamwork, communication skills and basic survival skills such as land navigation, as well as a focus on English, maths and ICT.
Chris said he had received interest from schools and said: “We have replied that we are definitely interested in doing that with local schools.
“One of the other reasons that students choose the course is to get a taste without actually joining up.
“We have a uniform, we have standards, we have rules - a much higher level of discipline than for most college students.
“That gives people a realistic taste of what it is like.”
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