The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) in partnership with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation has launched the Further Forces programme, a scheme to retrain Armed Forces Service Leavers to teach technical subjects, including science, engineering and technology, in the Further Education and Training sector. The scheme is funded jointly by the Education and Training Foundation and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation.
As well as offering Service Leavers the chance of a rewarding career, the scheme will help to meet the country’s needs of creating a world class technical education system. It is recognised that the economy is facing a skills shortage in these subject areas, for which an increase in highly skilled teaching staff will be needed.
The University of Portsmouth and the University of Brighton have been awarded the national contracts to train (Portsmouth) and mentor (Brighton) Armed Forces Service Leavers to work as Further Education (FE) teachers and trainers based in colleges and training providers across England.
The project will be rolled out through two national hubs – one in the North of England and one in the South. The programme will run for two years and aims to recruit and train 110 new teachers in the sector. While recruitment activity has now started, the delivery of training and employment opportunities will start from September this year.
The University of Portsmouth will recruit Service Leavers and link them with suitable employment. The newly employed Service Leavers will then undergo an in-service training programme. Alongside this, the University of Brighton will provide mentoring support to ensure the new teachers are successful in their role.
David Russell, Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation, said: “Accelerating the drive to achieve a world-class technical education system, especially in areas where we have a skills shortage, is vital for the country’s future. This initiative will play an important role in showing how the sector is responding to this challenge.
“One of the best places to find skilled professionals is within the Armed Forces. They have expertise, motivation and are held in high regard, and they will have a real presence and impact with those they teach and train.
“This is a powerful opportunity for Armed Forces Service Leavers to pass on their valuable life skills and thrive in a second career and we look forward to being instrumental in ensuring this programme is a success. We are very pleased to be working closely with two leading universities on delivering this programme – and would like to thank the Gatsby Charitable Foundation for their support in making this happen.”
To find out more please visit http://www.port.ac.uk/school-of-education-and-childhood-studies/further-forces/