Marines put college students to the ultimate test

Uniformed Public Service (UPS) students challenged themselves and pushed their bodies to the limit at the training day at RMR Tyne Anzio House on Newcastle quayside, which saw them participate in a range of activities alongside the elite fighting force.

Over 100 students were involved in activities including circuit training, rock wall climbing, abseiling and leadership tasks as well as weapon familiarisation and unarmed combat displays.

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Liddle, a first year UPS student at the college, said: “It was a really good event. It gave me an insight into what it takes to become a marine.

“I’m hoping to join the Royal Marines in the near future - I’ve got a medical in November – so this was an early chance to get some invaluable insight into the skills and attributes I’ll need to succeed. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, it’s a real challenge.”

Gateshead College has formed a strong partnership with the Royal Navy recruiting team, who work closely with teaching staff to contribute to the curriculum.

The Royal Marines deliver presentations to students and work with them to give them psychometric test and interview experience. They also arrange physical fitness activities, which are delivered by the Royal Marine Visibility Team.

Kim Smith, UPS lead practitioner and curriculum leader, at Gateshead College said: “The Royal Marines training day was a great success with dozens of our students involved and enjoying the opportunity.

“Events like this show the importance of people working together and striving mentally and physically to achieve their very best. It helps to make students ready for employment and provides opportunities to gain additional skills to improve employment and career success.

James McGill, 19, is a second year UPS student and he hopes to join the police force upon competition of the course.

He said: “After completing my A Levels I knew that I wanted to join the police so university wasn’t for me.

“The UPS course has been fantastic; it gives you all the skills needed for career success including communication team working and learning about the chain of command. There are loads of trips and experience days that give you a real insight into different careers.”

Kim commented: “The UPS course is insightful and beneficial to the students, regardless of whether or not they decide to pursue a career in the armed forces. providing constructive feedback and advice from experienced personnel.”

Kerry Armstrong, 18, a second year UPS student at the college is joining the Royal Navy Warfare Unit in May.

She said: “The course has been fantastic, it really gives you the confidence you need to meet new people and to work as part of a team.

“I’ve always known I wanted to be in the Navy so I knew that A Levels weren’t for me. I saw the UPS course advertised and thought this is for me. Qualifications like this help you when you’re applying for promotions.

“Kim is great; she always pushes you to go on all of the trips and is always available if you’re struggling with anything.”

Connor Walton, 16, from Fellgate, started the UPS course at Gateshead College in September this year.

He said: “I absolutely love it. The course covers so much, from, citizenship, government policy, leadership and sport.

“I’ve always wanted to join the armed forces, the marines got my attention because it’s so challenging.”

Connor is currently in the selection process to join the marine reserves and has been getting additional advice from family friend Mark Swinburne who was in the marines for ten years.

Kim commented: “This course gives students access to experienced service personnel who help them to make informed career choices and give an insight into what is expected from employees in work.

“Not only that but our partnerships and events make for a more exciting delivery and assessment of the curriculum – it’s truly vocational!”

Anyone who is interested in the uniformed public service course or wants more information please visit /courses/full-time/uniformed-public-services/