Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: School Cadet Units

Mike Wood: What steps he is taking to increase the number of cadet units in schools.

 

Julian Brazier The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Cadet forces offer young people the chance to develop character and essential skills in units based in schools and in the community. The coalition Government funded 100 extra units in schools, and this Government have committed an extra £50 million to increase the number by about 145, which will bring the total number in the United Kingdom to 500 by 2020.

 

Will Quince Conservative, Colchester

I was fortunate enough to go to a state comprehensive school which was linked to an Army cadet unit. What plans has my hon. Friend to ensure that more pupils from state comprehensive schools have the opportunity to join the cadets?

 

Julian Brazier The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Those 145 extra units will all be in state schools. One of the new school cadet forces that we have formed is in north-east England and started against a very difficult background, but it is now so successful that pupils are required to show that they have completed a full year of good attendance and good behaviour before they can join it.

 

Mike Wood: As a former flight sergeant in a combined cadet force, I have benefited from the advantages provided by cadet forces in state schools that the Minister has described. Will the Minister join me on a visit to Brierley Hill Squadron’s air training corps in Brockmoor to see the excellent work that is being done with young people from a range of backgrounds?

 

Julian Brazier The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

I am most envious of my hon. Friend: I am afraid that I only made lance corporal in the CCF. His invitation is very tempting. I will be making a number of visits to CCFs—indeed, I was with the sea cadets yesterday, Trafalgar day, in Trafalgar Square —but I cannot promise an immediate visit to his constituency.