Prime Minister announces expansion of Cadet Forces

30 June 2012

We are delighted with the Government's plans, announced today, to expand the cadet forces in England.

In a £10.85m scheme launched to coincide with Armed Forces Day, secondary state schools across England are being invited to encourage young people to join the Cadet Forces.

Championed by both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, the aim is to create 100 new cadet units based in English state funded schools by 2015 to help teach teamwork, discipline and essential life skills. Currently there are 324 cadet units in state schools across England.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, said:

"Cadet Forces teach our young people vital skills such as teamwork and discipline. They provide them with huge opportunities, open up new horizons and new possibilities.

"That’s why I want to see more of these in our schools so that we can give young people no matter what their background the skills to succeed.

"This is just the start and I want build on it in the future, working together with local communities, existing cadets and, of course, schools themselves."

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said:

"Getting involved in inspiring activities at school is priceless.

"Being a cadet is a tremendous challenge bringing self-discipline, excitement, and the opportunity to push yourself mentally and physically. It can be incredibly motivating and rewarding, and builds young people’s confidence so they can do better in their future careers. I’m very pleased that we’ve secured funding to extend the opportunity to thousands of pupils in state schools.

"We want to see young people from all walks of life aspiring to become the leaders of the future."

Total costs of the scheme will be met through a combination of public and private funding, with Government funding focused on start up training and equipment costs. Schools wishing to have a cadet unit will be required to find funding and enough adult volunteers to organise and run the activities.

The first new unit will be based at the City of London Academy in Islington and is being sponsored by the Honourable Artillery Company. A significant number of additional schools have already expressed an interest in getting involved.

There are four Ministry of Defence sponsored Cadet Forces in the UK. The schools based Combined Cadet Force, plus the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps, which are based in the community. Between them 26,000 adult volunteers deliver life changing training to some 140,000 young people a year.

Over the next three years, new cadet places will be created either through partnerships with existing units, or by creating completely new units.

The whole country admires the leadership, loyalty, service and professionalism that make our Armed Forces the best in the world. Cadets are not part of the Armed Forces, and neither they nor our adult volunteers are liable for military call-up. However, they are a crucial way in which the Armed Forces engage with wider society, raising awareness of their professionalism and ethos.

Cadets follow a structured syllabus and many go on to gain externally recognised qualifications such as the St John Ambulance First Aid certificates, Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and BTECs in Public Service and Music; helping many young people to boost their skills base for when they enter the work place.

To find out more about joining the Army Cadet Force in your area, just complete our simple online cadet enquiry form.