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Issue Date:- 19 May 2008

High Flying Southport Air Cadet

CORPORAL Dominic Parkes from 281 (Southport) Squadron – Air Cadets successfully completed his Gliding Scholarship and obtained his Silver Wings by flying solo in a Vigilant Glider at RAF Woodvale on Bank Holiday Monday 5th May.  The flight was the culmination of an intensive 6 weekend training courses at 631 Volunteer Gliding School (VGS), based at RAF Woodvale.

Gliding scholarships, potentially culminating in a solo flight, are awarded to cadets who demonstrate to the VGS staff and his squadron commander an aptitude for further training and strong motivation to continue flying. The minimum age to apply for a Gliding Scholarship is 16 years old.

Those cadets who have achieved the required standard will be awarded blue wings and a certificate to show they have successfully completed the course. Cadets showing the correct aptitude may be invited to continue to solo level. Cadets who go “solo” will be awarded silver wings and a certificate.

Officer Commanding 281 (Southport) Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Dave Wright said:- “We are very proud of Corporal Parkes, he has shown the right spirit, determination and enthusiasm to be nominated for this gliding scholarship and has fully justified our nomination.”

Corporal Parkes:- “the course was one of the best things I have done in the Air Cadets to date and was a great experience.

 The solo flight went really well and whilst I was a bit nervous to start with as the flight progressed I relaxed a little bit more and thoroughly enjoyed it with a good landing.

I had the biggest of smiles on my face as I taxied back to the gliding school. What a great experience!”

If you are 13 years old or above and are interested in the outdoor life, sport, flying, gliding, shooting and having fun then please call Flight Lieutenant Dave Wright on 01704 550393, Monday or Friday night between 7-30 and 9-30 pm or call to the Squadron’s Headquarters, St Peter’s School, Upper Aughton Road, Birkdale.

Adults are also welcome, as the Squadron also require Civilian Instructors and Civilian Committee members. No previous experience is required, just enthusiasm, we teach you all you need to know!

If you want to build your career, spend time away from work

JOB prospects and long-term career success are increasingly being influenced by individuals’ willingness to mix their working lives with time spent studying. Figures published by the Chartered Management Institute show that employers are attracted to staff who show commitment to their own professional development, because of the knock-on effect this has on business.

The data, which comes from a series of research projects undertaken over the past 4 years, has been issued in the run up to Learning at Workday, a national campaign spearheaded by the Campaign for Learning.  According to the findings, employers accept that their staff will move on to other jobs, but see immediatebusiness needas a key factor to encourage learning. Asked to identify reasons for supporting employee development, the top 3 responses were:- strategic business requirements, improving individual prospects for progressand enabling staff to do their job. Individual respondents also gave a clear indication that they see value in time spent learning; a rating of 6 out of 10 was given when managers were asked if they had beenrewarded and recognisedfor undertaking development programmes.

Managers were also asked the extent to which learning had helped their career. 24% said that achieving a qualification led to a promotion and 23% received a salary increase. The same proportion (23%) transferred their skills to a new career and 22%  got a new job in the same industry. 53% claimed that they also gained more respect from colleagues and 70% focused on the opportunity it gave them to refocus their career.

Looking ahead 5 years, 1 in 3 employers also believe that their managers will become more concerned about professional development. 54% argue that managers will also need evidence of transferable skills to move across industry sectors, with a similar proportion (51%) suggesting success will be based on broad business knowledge. These findings come in the wake of wider research which revealed that a combination of studying for qualifications and on-the-job experience has overtaken natural abilityas the key ingredient for successful management and leadership.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, says:- “It is becoming increasingly clear that, if individuals want to succeed, they must invest time in continually updating their skills. But studying on its own is not the answer – how managers apply what they learn in their relationships with customers and colleagues is critical to ongoing success.”

Most respondents admit thattaking time outto learn new skills improves their self-awareness and interpersonal capabilities. For example, 79% suggest that one practical benefit is the development of their leadership skills and 66% believe they are better equipped to deal with interpersonal issues as a result of studying for a qualification.

Tricia Hartley, chief executive at the Campaign for Learning adds:- "Learning whilst working can be a considerable challenge, particularly with the pressures we all face to deliver on time, every time. However, it is clear from this research as well as the feedback we receive from the many organisations taking part in Learning at Work Day that there is no substitute for continuous learning, as without this the ability to meet new and changing demands is diminished.”  

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