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Trust Helps Air Cadets Steer To Success

Published: 25 Nov 2016

A group of Air Cadets from Newcastle have earned a mechanical engineering qualification aided by a grant from the RAF Charitable Trust.

The youngsters, from 2344 (Lonbenton) Squadron, fixed-up an old 1995 Ford Escort to get it through an MOT as part of the squadron's training and development programme - and it led to an apprenticeship with car maker Nissan for 16-year-old Cadet Corporal Louis Baptist.

Louis said: "Through the engineering project I found that I love working with cars and engines. It helped give me focus as I knew that if I got the grades at school I could go for an apprenticeship. When I was offered an apprenticeship with Nissan I was really pleased. They were really impressed by my knowledge of engines and how I could explain in technical terms what I'd learnt."

By teaming up with Newcastle College and the North East Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, the young air cadets were able to turn their practical learning into a qualification, helped by a £9,500 grant from the Trust to purchase training resources.

The young people achieved Silver and Gold CREST Awards, the equivalent of a GCSE and A level respectively. CREST is a UK award scheme that recognises success, and enables young people to build their skills and demonstrate personal achievement in project work.  

Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson, said: "The young people were instrumental in how the project progressed. They showed commitment, a desire to learn and sound work ethic to overcome numerous obstacles and achieve their aim, which is clearly recognised by employers. I'm tremendously proud of them and they thoroughly deserve their STEM qualification." 

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