21 May 2012
Cadets from Northern Ireland are being invited to take part in a unique new initiative called Cadets Into Work specially created to increase their employability and help them find jobs as they ‘graduate’ from cadets. The pilot scheme, supported by Foyle Food Group, one of north-west Northern Ireland’s largest private sector employers, will be open to cadets aged 15-18 from Army Cadet Force detachments based in and around Londonderry. It has been tailored to help cadets bridge the gap from school to employment and those who complete the intensive one-day course will emerge better positioned to show off their skills and personal attributes, while local employers will benefit from the availability of a pool of young people with a strong work ethos, high self-esteem and a determination to make their mark in the workplace.
No formal qualifications are required to participate in the Cadets Into Work initiative. Those who take part will get a taste of life in the workplace and will acquire skills and experience designed to help them secure that all-important first job, such as how to write a good application form, CV and covering letter and practice job interviews.
Interest for the 30 spaces on the pilot scheme has already been intense, Colonel Paul Shepherd, Commandant of 1 (NI) Battalion ACF, says: “To the outsider it may seem that the ACF provides young people with a fun and challenging hobby; that of course is true, but it is only one part of a broader picture. Teenage cadets and their parents are very aware of just how difficult it can be for school-leavers to find a job or, indeed, to secure a place in college or university if that is their choice. By offering sound advice and providing practical guidance to young people as they prepare to leave the cadet ‘family’ – giving them a chance to see what life is like in the ‘real world’ of work –we can do much to enhance their employability.”