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Air & Defence Career College launched with a Matriculation Ceremony

September 27 2016

Britain’s first ever Air & Defence Career College, which is proud to be part of the Lincoln College Group, welcomed its first intake of students with a matriculation ceremony today.

The Career College, which opened its doors on 5th September 2016, is supported by the Royal Air Force and top global aerospace engineering firms including Raytheon, Thales, AAR Corp and BAES.  It represents a unique opportunity for young people to secure exciting and rewarding careers and for the region to address a major skills shortage.

In its first year, the Career College will specialise in Engineering, Computer Sciences and Catering; other subjects are likely to be included next year.  Graduates who meet the RAF recruitment criteria will be guaranteed a place on RAF Basic Recruit Training (Subject to RAF selection restrictions), or be well equipped to start a career in the wider aerospace industry.

On top of their professional technical training, students will also take part in regular RAF fitness and adventure training, complete Duke of Edinburgh Awards, go on a residential course designed by the RAF and Royal Society of Engineers; star performers will even get the chance to go up in a trainer jet.

The Career College will put a major focus on career-ready skills like adapting to workplace culture, confidence, attitude, team building and leadership.

Lincoln College Group CEO Gary Headland said: “We are proud to open this new Career College, the purpose of which is to create highly skilled and productive employees for the Royal Air Force and the defence industrial companies, who are major employers in the Greater Lincolnshire region.

“Employers frequently say to me that they wish that their new employees were better prepared for work in addition to having the requisite education and training.  Listening to that feedback and acting upon it, the Career College is heavily influenced by employers and highly enriched with activities related to the employment sector. 

“I am very confident that we will be developing some seriously talented young people ready for accelerated entry and rapid progression in the organisations that they join.

“We have also welcomed the first intake of students to our Construction Career College in Gainsborough, which is supported by the Gelder Group, Lindum, RG Carter, Longhurst Group, Ongo Homes and West Lindsey District Council. We will be holding a similar official opening ceremony for that College.”

Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Turner, the Air Officer Commanding No 22 Group, said: “I was delighted to officially matriculate the first intake of students to the Air & Defence Career College today. This is a fantastic initiative that will provide more opportunities for young people from across the region to learn key skills that will really add to their employability.  I am delighted that the RAF has been allowed to shape what's on offer to the students, and to contribute important life-skills such as leadership, management and physical fitness.

“Our ambition is that the College will be a recognised pathway for highly prepared and confident young men and women in areas into the RAF such as: engineering, computer sciences and catering, to name but a few.”

Career Colleges Director of Operations Bev Jones said: “It is has been fantastic to meet the first intake of the Air & Defence Career College students today. It’s been a really exciting, fun-packed event and a great way to celebrate Lincoln College’s 130th birthday.

“Career Colleges provide specialist vocational training, underpinned with solid academic teaching – which ensures young people are equipped with the skills needed for career success.

“Employers take a leading role in the design and delivery of the curriculum, making it wholly relevant to the real world of work.  As well as being of huge benefit to the students and preparing them for employment, Career Colleges are helping to address future skills gaps and support the growth of UK industry.

“The Air and Defence industry is booming and the new Career College in Lincoln is very well-placed to offer excellent opportunities to the local community.”