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09/08/2007

Young People Across NI Invited To Army Jobs & Trades Fair

Young people seeking travel, adventure and endless training opportunities are encouraged to attend the Army Jobs and Trades Fair at Massereene Barracks, Antrim on Saturday 18th August.

The event will showcase the range of both full-time and part-time jobs in the Army with the opportunity to get their hands on the kit the Army uses across the world.

For young people making critical career decisions following their GCSE and A-Level exams, August can be a stressful time, with many overwhelmed by the number of choices available to them. The Army Jobs and Trades Fair provides an excellent opportunity for these young people and their parents or guardians to see what a career in the Army has to offer and clarify any misconceptions they may have by talking with experienced soldiers.

Given the recent end of Operation Banner in Northern Ireland Lieutenant Colonel Dick Rafferty, who is responsible for the Army Recruiting team in Northern Ireland, is keen to clarify the situation regarding Army Recruitment. He explained: "While the Army's operational role in Northern Ireland has changed considerably we want to make it very clear that the Army is still actively recruiting here for posts available worldwide. Indeed each year we recruit approximately 600 soldiers from right across Northern Ireland.

"The Army Jobs and Trades Fair is just one event we run to ensure people can access the information they need to make an informed decision as to whether an Army career or soldiering in the TA might suit them. In previous years the event has taken place at Kinnegar Barracks, Holywood but this year we are keen to make it more accessible to people coming from the likes of Londonderry, Coleraine, Ballymena, Larne and of course Antrim."

"As well as hearing first hand accounts from soldiers who have had some of the best training in the world, those attending are able to get their hands on a selection of formidable vehicles and other equipment with which the modern Army does its business."

Combat, Engineering, Logistics, IT/Communications, Healthcare, Human Resources, Administration and Finance, Specialist, Further Education and Officer are the nine career groups in the Army. Each of these groups will have their own individual stands and professional career advisors who can discuss future opportunities with any individual based upon their own personal strengths and career aspirations.

The Army offers unrivalled training opportunities and a chance to garner formal qualifications, which can equip individuals in both their Army and Civilian careers. Being one of the largest organisations in the world, 90% of vocations available in civilian life are also available in the Army with jobs ranging from chefs to chaplains, from accountants to mechanics.

Lieutenant Colonel Dick Rafferty continued: "It appears more young people may want to leave formal education in pursuit of a more exciting and varied lifestyle but are concerned about how it will affect their future career prospects. Young men and women who join the Army receive a salary and continuous training at the same time as developing essential decision making, leadership, management and communication skills. In addition, the full-time soldier is employed on a contract of up to 22 years, on completion of which he/she receives a pension which is payable immediately."

With the TA making up one quarter of the country's defence forces, anyone considering the part-time option of soldiering in the TA is also actively encouraged to attend the fair.

(CD)

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