A BURY-BASED company which helps to prepare young people for life in the armed forces is celebrating its first success story, as one of its students gets set to begin his career as a solider.

Kayden Howarth is one of the first intake of students to sit the full time course run by Military Standard Training, in Marsden Street.

Kayden,  who has always wanted to serve his country, started the training programme last autumn and is due to pass out of Army Foundation College in Harrogate this summer – having passed with flying colours and already being promoted from Junior Solider to Corporal.

Military Standard Training was launched last year to bridge the gap between young people leaving traditional education and starting military training.

The company provides a robust, free of charge course lasting up to 26 weeks, to give 16 to 24 year-olds the foundations and basic skills required for life in the forces.

Run by former Royal Marine and now managing director Andy Emmett, along with several former senior Armed Forces personnel, the programme aims to offer an alternative route to higher education, embracing military values and standards and covering a range of units including military knowledge, fitness and mental strength.

Kayden said: “Working with Staff Emmet and the team at Military Standard Training has been an incredible – and life changing – experience.

£Before I started, I was unfocussed and not as fit as I could have been. The programme has built my confidence and physical condition as well as giving me life skills and a clear vision of how I want my future to look.

“It also helped me prepare for moving away and the tools I needed to start my training in Harrogate.

“I’d encourage anyone who is thinking about a career in the armed forces, no matter what stage of the process they are at, to speak to the team at Military Standard Training.

“It is honestly the best thing I ever did and I know I have made some friends for life.”

Mr Emmett said: “We are all immensely proud of Kayden as he starts his new career.

“The students who come through our doors often need guidance to push them in the right direction and to channel their energy in a positive way. They arrive as young kids, but complete the course as highly focussed young men and women with a real sense of self-worth and pride in themselves and their community.”

Military Standard Training is running open days on August 1 and 2 at its base in Marsden Street. For more information call 0161 5050 460.