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First accelerated engineers pass out at HMS Raleigh

14 February 2018
The first 'accelerated' weapon and air engineers for the front-line Navy have been converted from civilians into sailors.

The group passed out of HMS Raleigh in front of family, friends and Guest of Honour Brig Richard Bennett, Commandant of the Defence College for Technical Training.

The general presented one of the 'acceleratees', Rct Donaldson, with the Captain's Prize on behalf of Raleigh's Commanding Officer, Capt Ellie Ablett.

The rookies are now learning the technical side of their trades - at Collingwood for the WE branch, Sultan for the air engineers - as they undergo the first phase of their condensed training.

The 'accelerated apprentices' scheme was introduced to 'grow' marine engineers with leadership abilities in half the time of regular ETs

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The 'accelerated apprentices' scheme was introduced to 'grow' marine engineers with leadership abilities in half the time of regular ETs.

It typically takes four and a half years to progress to leading hand, but under the new initiative, the accelerated apprentices should reach the same rank just two years into their careers, as they are sped through training, but while still achieving the many of the same milestones.

Just for good measure, they'll also have to prepare for the Leading Hands Qualifying Course and Leading Rates Leadership Course.

The apprentices comprised just under half the rookie sailors passing out from the Torpoint establishment in its Cunningham Squadron; they stood out on the parade ground thanks to white flashes above their leading hand hooks.

The first successful marine engineers passed out of HMS Sultan last summer and the decision was taken to broaden the scheme to embrace the air and weapon branches of engineering.

The target is to provide the Fleet with 104 accelerated apprenticeships across the three arms of engineering every year, with the emphasis on recruiting young people with maths and physics A-Levels or a Level 3 BTEC Engineering Diploma. Another batch of accelerated MEs is due to pass out of Raleigh before the end of the month.

In the autumn, the scheme will be extended again when the first accelerated submariners arrive at Raleigh.

For more information, visit the Royal Navy website and search 'Accelerated Apprentice'.

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