Armed Forces: Young People

Defence written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will assess whether 16 and 17-year-old recruits in the Army receive the same level of education and transferable skills that they would receive had they stayed on in mainstream education.

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

All 16 and 17-year-old recruits in the Army attending either the Army Foundation College Harrogate or the Army Technical Foundation College Winchester receive a coherent education package that focuses largely on improving their level of functional skills, including literacy and numeracy to at least Level 1.

At the Army Foundation College Harrogate, all soldiers are enrolled on a Level 2 Apprenticeship for Information Technology. At the Army Technical Foundation College Winchester, the focus is to set in place the academic foundation that the recruits will need in order to succeed at their chosen apprenticeship, such as engineering or mechanics. All of these skills are transferable.

In addition to this, the Common Military Syllabus includes a range of subjects such as first aid, map reading and values and standards. Recruits also receive training and education that is designed to build the foundations of leadership and emphasises skills such as communication, team work and problem-solving, all of which are transferable skills.

We aim for all Army personnel to have reached at least Level 1 in literacy and numeracy within three years of enlistment and all Army personnel continue to follow a programme of personal improvement throughout their career.

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