A drive to promote career opportunities for young people in the military and blue light services is being supported and promoted by West Midlands Lieutenancy as part of a ‘first-time ever’ programme to encourage young people to use their skills within the uniformed services.
The DRIVE initiative is designed to demonstrate that the uniformed services offer significant opportunities for young people to use and develop their skills in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and leadership.
DRIVE – which stands for diversity, race, inclusion, versatility and equality – is being launched at a two-day event at which speakers will include the Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Mr John Crabtree OBE; the Government’s newly appointed Lead on Young People, Ms Nicola Richards MP; Vice Lord-Lieutenant Prof Helen Higson OBE and former British Army Officer, Samuel T Reddy – who co-founded Tripotential, a people development enterprise that helps the uniformed services to recruit the very best BAME and Commonwealth personnel.
Government statistics show that since March 2016, the proportion of BAME personnel joining the UK regular forces and future reserves has increased by 2.3% to 8% at the end of March 2021.
“There are great opportunities within the uniformed services,” said Martin Levermore MBE DL, a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands and one of the organisers of the event.
“Training, service, adventure and travel are all features of life in the military and blue light services. It is the first time there has been an event like this and across two days, we will bring together students, teachers, careers advisors and community influencers to highlight the opportunities in all of the uniformed services for a diverse range of talents and backgrounds,” he continued.
The initiative will be attended by students and teachers from schools and colleges in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton. Young people – from 15 to 25 years old – will meet members of the military and blue light services as well as participate in in exercises to test and build their leadership capabilities. A conference for educators and community influencers will also improve the understanding of the opportunities in the uniformed services.
The DRIVE Initiative is endorsed by West Midlands Lieutenancy with the support of West Midlands Fire Service, The West Midlands Ambulance Service, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Combined Authority, British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association, Birmingham Careers Hub, City of Wolverhampton College, West Midlands’ Police and Crime Commissioner, Sport 4 Life UK, Tripotential CIC and Birmingham City University – which is hosting the two-day event at The Pavilion at its Moor Lane campus in Birmingham.
Find out more details and how to book places, subject to availability, at the following webpage https://www.wmrfca.org/event/the-drive-initiative/