A specialist training college that helps 16-19 year olds get fit and ready for employment, including rewarding careers in the Armed Forces, has opened in Merthyr Tydfil town centre.
The Merthyr Tydfil Military Preparation College will offer a free education provision to local young people from all backgrounds. As part of a network of 20 colleges across England and Wales, its unique ‘active learning’ curriculum looks to inspire young people to achieve their personal best, with at least 50% of each and every day spent learning outdoors.
Having been operational in Rhymney for almost 15 years, the college has now relocated to the heart of Merthyr Tydfil town centre in order to better serve the local community and support young people’s future career prospects. The existing site in Rhymney will become a stand-alone Military Preparation School for 14-16 year olds.
The Military Preparation College network is funded by the Welsh Government. It is already firmly established in Wales, with successful colleges located in Cardiff, Bridgend, Newport, Bangor, Swansea and Wrexham.
An official launch event was held on Monday 3rd October at the College’s new base on Merthyr Tydfil high street, providing an insight into the free training service that is on offer. Students demonstrated a range of physical training activities, including log displays and drills. Gerald Jones MP and broadcaster Roy Noble OBE were both among the guests in attendance.
Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, comments:
“The new college opening is an exciting development for the local town and builds on the previously recognised successes of MPCT. Their tailored program breaks down barriers and helps young people to gain and build their confidence and self belief. I am proud to be part of this event and give my support to this new exciting learning provision to our community here in Merthyr Tydfil.”
Huw Lewis, founder and managing director at the Military Preparation College, adds:
“We are pleased to bring our unique active learning approach to the heart of the Merthyr Tydfil community. We firmly believe that building vital life skills is the most important thing that a young person can do, and our new centre will support the personal growth of 16-18 year olds in the local area, helping them to succeed in their future lives.”
The Military Preparation College’s curriculum has been designed to develop students’ physical fitness, essential skills and self-confidence. The College operates a ‘roll on, roll off’ joining process with no set deadline by which to apply, allowing new recruits to join on a weekly basis. The average length of a learner’s stay is 27 weeks before they are ready to progress into employment or further education or training.
Since its foundation in 1999, the Military Preparation College network has enabled over 2,000 young men and women to enlist in the Armed Forces, and helped over 4,000 others to explore further employment education and training opportunities. It was rated Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ in 2014.