Over 25 teenage students from The Military Preparation College (MPCT) in Ryde have taken advantage of a rare opportunity to gain a first-hand perspective of life in the British Armed Forces.

The special event, held at the college’s Ryde academy, marked the first time that the Army’s new mobile careers centre has visited the Isle of Wight, with technology used to provide an immersive experience of real combat situations.

The students were able to gain a unique perspective of their potential future careers by donning an interactive virtual reality headset, vividly bringing to life real army experiences. Experienced Army representatives and a Royal Marine were also on hand to provide insight on career options within the Armed Forces and to answer questions about life in the Army.

Brian Richardson, Lead Instructor at the Military Preparation College in Ryde comments, “Virtual reality headsets were used to inspire youngsters about their potential future careers, including the chance to experience just what it’s like to jump out of an aircraft! Learning more about the benefits of working in the Armed Forces, the Army’s ethos and the various potential career opportunities was an invaluable experience for all that attended.”

MPCT is a specialist college based in Ryde that helps 16-19 year olds develop their physical fitness, functional skills and self-confidence, inspiring them to achieve their full potential in life. One such learner who attended the event was 16-year-old Jordan Sheekey from Ryde. A student at the college for the past two months, Mr Sheekey has been working on his health and fitness since joining the college, in a bid to pursue a career in the Army.

“I have always been very interested in first aid having trained with St. Johns Ambulance and been part of the Army Cadet Force, and I’m hoping to become a Combat Medical Technician in the British Army. I want the chance to see the world and save lives,” comments Mr Sheekey. “The Military Preparation College has been very supportive in my application for this role, so it was really helpful to be able to actually meet with Army personnel and hear about life in the Armed Forces first-hand.”

The Army’s mobile careers centre is a brand new venture and the Isle of Wight has been identified as a core priority, providing advice to anyone considering a career in the Armed Forces. The centre is next scheduled to visit the Isle of Wight College on Tuesday 22nd September.

Mr Richardson adds, “The visit from the mobile careers centre provided a solid overview of life in the Armed Forces. Quite often, youngsters can have set ideas about career paths and vocations, often informed by the service history of parents and grandparents. This event, however, offered a rounded view of the large number of job opportunities that are available across all of the Armed Forces, not just the Army.”

To find out more about the work of MPCT, visit www.mpct.co.uk.

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