A North East college has become the first in the UK to offer a free, career-boosting course to adults looking to change their lives.

The Military Preparation College (MPC), at South Tyneside College, is one of 28 across England and Wales providing free academic, fitness and social skills training courses for 16 to 19-year-olds.

And now it is rolling out its offering to adults aged between 19 and 23 who are looking for the first step on a new career ladder.

Like the existing course, the new, MCP Adult Course, will be led by ex-British Armed Forces personnel with the aim of helping learners develop their fitness and achieve qualifications and skills for future employment.

The new MPC Adult Course is part time – from Monday to Wednesday – and applicants must fall into the age brackets and be on Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit.

The South Shields courses are overseen by former Sergeant – Reconnaissance Troop Commander and Centre Manager, Richard Harnott, who is urging anyone who “fits the criteria and is looking for a new or different career to get in touch.

“Our existing learners vary enormously,” said Richard. “Some are focused on a specific role in the military, while others have an aspiration but need further information advice and guidance regarding their options.

“But, by bringing their education and physical fitness up to scratch – and, consequently, boosting their self-confidence and self-worth – and by educating them about the vast range of career options available to them, we allow them to make an informed choice.

“Not all our learners enter the military by any means,” said Richard, “but the skills they learn on our courses are transferrable into any workplace or career.”

So far, MPCT has trained more than 15,000 learners, aged 14-19 across both England and Wales and has helped enlist more than 3500 young people into the military.

To find out more about the Adult Course at the Military Preparation College, South Tyneside, visit www.mpct.co.uk  or call 0330 111 3939.