Two-year taster of career in the navy

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A SCHEME to provide a two-year taste of life in the Royal Navy was launched yesterday by the Government.

The armed forces minister Dr John Reid announced the details during a visit to HMS Raleigh in east Cornwall where all ratings go through their initial Naval training.

Initially there will be 200 places and those who join the innovative short engagement will also complete their 15 weeks training at Raleigh - and then go straight to sea.

"The idea is to get to sea," said a Royal Navy spokesman today, adding that it could be up to a year before ratings who joined on a regular engagement joined a ship.

Dr Reid, who took the salute at yesterday's passing out parade, said: "This new two-year short engagement will provide a first-class opportunity for the more adventurous to gain a taste of life in the Navy."

Open to people between the ages of 17 and 32, it would also offer the active job-seeker a chance to enjoy at least two years full employment. At any time during the two years entrants could apply for a transfer to a regular engagement.