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Fast-track trainees speed through apprenticeship training at HMS Collingwood

1 May 2018
An eager group of trainees recruited under the Royal Navy Undergraduate Apprenticeship Scheme (UGAS) enjoyed a taste of naval life at HMS Collingwood recently.

Fast track trainees speed through apprenticeship training at HMS CollingwoodThe recruits spent time at the Royal Naval Leadership Academy (RNLA) as part of their accelerated training programme which should see them serving as Petty Officer Engineering Technicians on board HM Submarines within four years.

The trainees all joined the Royal Navy in September 2017 and now, for the first time the intake includes recruits from the Fleet Air Arm.

Recruits must have a proven educational background, namely a minimum of 5 A* to C Grade GCSEs and 160 UCAS points from STEM subjects before they are interviewed and selected with the expectation of first time success at every stage of training.

Upon completion of Leading Engineering Technician Qualifying Course (LETQC), the graduates will be as qualified as recruits who have completed training in the traditional time-frame but will then spend seven to eight months at sea as LETs to obtain practical experience, before returning to complete Petty Officer professional training.

These tasks break down barriers within the groups and introduce leadership skills. Trainees on the UGAS scheme get promoted quicker and paid more.

Warrant Officer (WO1) Scott Matthewson

At the RNLA, the group tackled carefully crafted exercises designed to test and encourage leadership abilities and boost team-building, skills essential for their future in the Royal Navy.

Warrant Officer (WO1) Scott Matthewson explained the value of the exercises. He said, “These tasks break down barriers within the groups and introduce leadership skills. Trainees on the UGAS scheme get promoted quicker and paid more.

"The Royal Navy is currently short of engineers and we don’t want them failing their leadership course because the accelerated training leaves them lacking experience.”

Leading Engineering Technician (LET) Owen Guy was part of the UGAS group and commented, “I’m going on LET course soon but I’d had no leadership experience within the Royal Navy. This helps you dive straight in without too much pressure but it takes you out of your comfort zone.”

Leading Aircraft Controller (LAC) Stephen Bergmann came to HMS Collingwood from his base at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall and agreed. “This course is good for the future of aircrew and the leadership experience is good. The best part of this has been the course leaders, they are really great leaders themselves and we can aspire to be like them and copy their style.”

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