Lincoln teenagers set to reach new heights as new RAF college launches

Ambitious teenagers interested in a career in the aviation industry are being given a unique opportunity to aim for the skies thanks to the opening of a specialised new career college in Lincoln.

Lincoln College has joined forces with the RAF and global aerospace engineering firms to launch its new Career College in Air and Defence, which will open to students in September.

The Air and Defence College will initially accept 72 students over the age of 16 at its Monks Road campus, with the college opening its doors to 14-year-olds in year two.

The college believes that the new project represents an opportunity for Lincolnshire’s young people to secure lucrative and rewarding careers, and for the region to plug its skills gap.

Gary Headland, CEO of the Lincoln College Group. Photo Steve Smailes for Lincolnshire Business

Gary Headland, CEO of the Lincoln College Group. Photo Steve Smailes for Lincolnshire Business

Lincoln College Group CEO Gary Headland, who himself was a former RAF Wing Commander, said: “Our students will have unrivalled access to RAF and Air Defence industry expertise and environments – making them career-ready ahead of their peers.

“We are offering fast-track pathways into lucrative, secure careers. For many students in Lincolnshire, this Career College and others like it are the right choice for them.”

Air and Defence students will be able to specialise in Engineering, Computer Sciences or Catering.

Students will be exposed to real life working environments on RAF bases and at renowned engineering firms such as Thales, Raytheon and AAR Corp.

They will also be subjected to regular RAF fitness and adventure training, complete Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and go on a residential course designed by the RAF and Royal Society of Engineers.

Star performers will even get the chance to go up in a trainer jet.

Graduates who meet the RAF recruitment criteria will be guaranteed a place on RAF Basic Recruit Training.

Air Commodore Chris Luck, Commandant of the RAF College Cranwell said: “My ambition is that the Air and Defence College will be a recognised pathway for highly prepared and confident young men and women into the RAF, and industry, in areas such as; engineering, computer sciences and catering, to name but a few.”

Founder and Trustee of the Career Colleges Trust, Lord Baker, said: “As well as being of huge benefit to the students and preparing them for employment, Career Colleges are helping to address future skills gaps and support the growth of UK industry.

“The Air and Defence industry is booming and the new Career College in Lincoln is very well-placed to offer excellent opportunities to the local community.”

Students can now apply for the Air and Defence College by visiting Lincoln College’s website.

Further information can be found online or by calling the college’s Information Office on 03003032435.

Construction college

Teenagers interested in a career in construction will also benefit from a new career college in the county.

The UK’s first Construction Career College will open its doors at Lincoln College’s Gainsborough Campus in September and students can apply now.

Students, will have the opportunity to specialise in bricklaying, painting and decorating and carpentry and joinery.

High-performing students will have the option to be fast-tracked into apprenticeships to start earning while they learn at an earlier date.

The Construction Career College is backed by The Gelder Group, Lindum Group, Robert Woodhead, Longhurst Housing Group, ONGO Homes and West Lindsey District Council.

Gelder Group CEO Steve Gelder said: “I am absolutely delighted that Lord Baker’s team chose Gelder Ltd to be the lead employer for the UK’s first ever Construction Career College, that the first one will be in my home town of Gainsborough and that we’ve been able to partner with Gary Headland’s team at Lincoln College to deliver it.”