A new college dedicated to helping 16-18 year olds prepare for a rewarding career in the Armed Forces is to open in Cheltenham on 20th October 2014.

The Military Preparation College Gloucestershire (www.mpct.co.uk) will be based at GC, Princess Elizabeth Way, Cheltenham. It will help young men and women from across Gloucestershire to develop their physical fitness, functional skills and self-confidence – giving them the best possible chance to pass selection for the Armed Forces, and complete basic training.

The new College in Cheltenham is the 15th branch of the Military Preparation College to open in the UK since the organisation was founded in 1999. To date, the College has helped over 1,850 young people enlist in the Armed Forces. In August 2014, the Military Preparation College was rated as ‘Outstanding’ in every area by Ofsted.

Huw Lewis MBE, founder and managing director of The Military Preparation College, said:

“Over the last 15 years, we’ve helped thousands of young people from all types of backgrounds to fulfil their individual potential. Whilst our courses are themed around core skills required and expected in the military, many of those are very transferable to other careers, especially in other Public Service roles. Fundamentally, we’re here to engage, motivate and educate young people to enable them to achieve their goals, whether that’s a career in the Armed Forces or further training and education.”

Two teams of current students from the Military Preparation Colleges in Bristol and Cardiff helped launch the new Cheltenham College at a special event on Monday 13th October, attended by local VIPs, parents and members of the public. The 12-strong teams competed head to head in a ‘Section Skills Competition’, featuring tug of war, physical endurance event, a gun run race and embedded functional skills challenges. The launch ceremony was designed to showcase the kind of competitive learning experiences on offer at the Military Preparation College, and celebrate the College’s recent Ofsted rating.

Huw Moores, employer engagement manager at The Military Preparation College, said:

“We’re very excited to be opening our new Gloucestershire College in Cheltenham. There is currently very little provision in the region for the kind of vocational training and qualifications we can offer. It’s also a great time for young people to consider a career in the Armed Forces, with the Army actively recruiting for 15,000 more reservists by 2020. Our students have a 92% success rate in passing Phase 1 Training in the Armed Forces, so for local young people keen to succeed in this kind of career, there’s no better place to start their journey.”

There are no fixed academic entry requirements for the Military Preparation College, and no cost to learners to attend courses, aside from their uniform. Funding is also available to all learners to support their travel costs and where applicable Bursary Funding is also available. Prospective students must simply demonstrate a desire to learn and a will to succeed. The College also operates a ‘roll on, roll off’ joining process, allowing new Learners to join on a weekly basis. The average length of a learner’s stay is 20 weeks before they are ready to progress into employment or further education or training.

For more information about The Military Preparation College, visit www.mpct.co.uk or call 08442 438438. An Open Day for prospective students and their families will be held on Friday October 17th 2014, from 10.30am – 2.00pm.