Forty college students from Blackburn & Burnley were given a taste of Army life during an action-packed day at Weeton Barracks in Lancashire.
The students, from Blackburn & Burnley Colleges Public Services Courses, were put through their paces by Army Reservists from 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (4 LANCS). Their taster day included competitions in Drill, Patrols, Camouflage and Concealment plus an Obstacle Course run by Regular Army Physical Training Instructors from the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. The competition day was the culmination of the Military Reserve Forces Taster Course run by 4 LANCS over 6 weeks at Somme Barracks in Blackburn.
The aims of the course, open to Level 3 Second Year Uniformed Public Service students from Blackburn and Burnley Colleges, were to increase the career opportunities for the students as well as broaden their knowledge of the Army Reserve and the opportunities available through Reserve service.
Taylor Yates, a student from Blackburn College taking part in the course, said: ‘They mentioned at college that they were running a course with the local Army Reserve Centre. It sounded really interesting and I thought I’d enjoy it so I put my name down for it.
‘I’ve loved all of the course, I couldn’t pick out a single thing above anything else. I’ve got stronger leadership skills now, and team working skills. I know how to do drill properly now too! In the future I’d like to join the Army Reserve as a Combat Medic. Doing this course has changed my whole mind on what I want to do.’
Callum Jordan from Burnley College said: ‘I got involved in this through the Public Services course at college. I didn’t have much experience of the Armed Forces before this. Over the last five weeks I’ve learnt much more about the Army, about what it’s like – today I really enjoyed the Obstacle Course. I’m interested in joining the RAF in the future.’
Lt Col Tony Royce, Commanding Officer 4 LANCS, said: ‘This collaboration with Blackburn & Burnley Colleges has provided a chance for us to introduce local young people to the unparalleled opportunities available to learn new skills, gain qualifications and build up confidence and experience through Reserve service. In addition our Reservists have greatly enjoyed delivering the course over the past 6 weeks. Whichever direction our students take in their future careers, I hope they will take some of the experiences we’ve shared forward with them, and I wish them all the best.’
A prize-giving ceremony for students and their parents will be held at Somme Barracks, Blackburn, on 6th November.