Wales RFCA promotes the benefits of the Cadet Forces

Wales RFCA invited Professor Simon Denny,co-author of the report, entitled  ‘What is the social impact and return on investment resulting from expenditure on the Cadet Forces in the UK?’  to speak at their Annual Briefing in October at HMS Cambria (Cardiff). Wales RFCA subsequently shared the videos and presentations from that day with their wider RFCA community to further promote the benefits of the Cadet Forces.

Professor Simon Denny BA MA PhD is the former Executive Dean at Northampton University and led the research commissioned by the Ministry of Defence and conducted over a four-year period which highlighted the positive impact of the Cadet Forces on young peoples’ development, adult volunteers and wider society.

The study conducted by the University of Northampton found participation in the Cadet programmes led to greatly improved communication and leadership skills. Personal resilience, confidence and an ability to work effectively with a diverse range of people were also recognised as attributes of cadets and adult volunteers.

Professor Simon Denny said: “Our research has concluded that the Cadet Forces provide structured challenge, discipline, training, education and, importantly, fun. Cadets and their adult volunteer instructors gain new skills and qualifications which increase their education and employment opportunities. The positive impacts on social mobility are, frankly, amazing. The Cadet Forces represent a very good use of taxpayers’ money.”

The report outlines a significant return on investment in the Cadet Forces, with the cadet experience offering potentially life-changing opportunities for career progression and vocational qualifications. Prof Denny said: “This results in increased career prospects for those who may not hold traditional educational qualifications.”

A 20-minute film along with Professor Denny’s presentation on the night and two further short films (one with images and one without) in which he answers the three questions below are available on this link here  for your use.

  • What are the main benefits of being a cadet
  • What are the financial benefits to the individual and the state from the Cadet Forces
  • How are the outcomes of the Cadet Forces in Wales relevant to the policy agenda of the Welsh Government

East Anglia RFCA members will recall Professor Simon Denny spoke at the East Anglia RFCA AGM in 2018, prior to the four-year study being completed in 2021.

A similar study was published recently by the Sea Cadets, the My LegaSea report, which asked 3,000 former cadets dating back as far as the Second World War: does being a Sea Cadet change the rest of your life? 

The UK currently has 130,000 cadets and almost 30,000 adult volunteers supporting them. The MOD invests £180 Million per year into the cadet programme, and this independent study demonstrates not only that the cadet programme is a worthwhile investment for the taxpayer, but also why efforts to bring the cadet experience to more young people should continue.

The research into the benefits of the Cadet Forces has provided the evidence to government for the continued funding of Cadet Forces and the scaling up of the Cadet Expansion Programme in schools. The research was directly cited several times as can be seen in this debate in the Lords.

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