Army Engineers take over Knowsley Community College

Army Engineers from Liverpool are taking over Knowsley Community College for a day to introduce students and local people aged 18 and over to the Army Reserve, and the training and employment opportunities available as a part time soldier.

125 Field Company 101 Battalion REME are based in Allerton, Liverpool, and are recruiting from across Merseyside. 101 Battalion are the Army’s Mechanical Engineers for the North West of England. As an Army Reserve Battalion, they are there to augment Regular operations. They also provide support to the region’s other Army Reserve units and have a peacetime role providing equipment support and vehicle maintenance.

There is a huge range of roles on offer with 101 Battalion. Recruits get paid to train and have the opportunity to earn an annual tax-free bonus. Army Reservists get the training and skills they need to work alongside their Regular counterparts, skills which they can also use in their day jobs. 101 Battalion also offers Access to Engineering (A2E), a three month full time traineeship. Recruits will complete basic soldier and engineering training, and successful trainees will finish the course as an Army Reservist and REME tradesman. There are additional opportunities to get a basic driving license, take part in sports and adventure and make new friends.

Cfn Mel Stevenson, 30, joined the unit last year after a career in the Regular Army. During her day job she works on an offshore drilling installation in the North Sea. She lives with her partner and two dogs. Mel said: ‘The Army Reserve has provided me with mechanical engineering training which sets me apart from the other people I work with in my day job. It’s also a way of keeping fit and active on my time off. Being a Reservist is something to be proud of, and you gain life skills and experience.’

Cfn Tony Davies-Musker, 26, joined the Army Reserve in 2008. He works full time at Altcar Training Camp on Merseyside, and lives in Litherland with his wife and children. Tony said: ‘I joined the Army Reserve because I wanted to do something a little bit different and challenging. Since joining, I have been on various courses qualifying me as a Class 2 Vehicle Mechanic and a Physical Training Instructor. I have also achieved my HGV driver’s license. Being a Reservist you get the opportunity to gain valuable qualifications and to travel. You meet a diverse group of people who become friends for life.’

Lt Col David Harris, Commanding Officer 101 Battalion, said: ‘We’re really thrilled to be at Knowsley Community College to show young people in Liverpool some of the opportunities available as a Reservist. We can offer comprehensive training over a short period of time, full time payment for up to three months and drivers’ licenses. At the end of the three months, recruits will have a basic level of engineering.

‘I’m asking young people in Liverpool to come to Knowsley Community College and have a look at the Army Reserve. We can offer a variety of part time employment opportunities and even pension opportunities. I hope that when people realise what qualifications we can give them as part of the process, they will understand what a great part time job opportunity this could be for them.’

The 101 Battalion REME Open Day will be held on Saturday 28 March from 10am at Knowsley Community College.

125 Field Company parade on Wednesday nights at Mather Avenue Army Reserve Centre in Allerton.