Air cadets swapped the cockpit for the City as they tested their entrepreneurial skills by setting up their own business.
The 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron is the first cadet unit to enter the Young Enterprise competition, helping the youngsters achieve an internationally recognised business qualification.
Young Enterprise is the UK’s largest business and enterprise education charity. Under its flagship Company Programme, students set up and run a real firm for a year under the guidance of a business volunteer.
The young cadets have set up their own business “Team LB” and will be responsible for everything from raising the initial share capital through to designing and making their product or service to selling directly to customers at specially organised trade fairs, ultimately winding up the firm and paying any taxes.
Team LB’s initial project will see the company sell memorabilia celebrating the squadron’s recent achievement of being recognised as the best air cadet squadron in the UK.
The second project concerns commemorating the Great War.
Cadet Corporal Lucy Gardiner, 17, finance director, said: “It was an incredible feeling when we won the Lees Trophy; to be recognised as the best squadron in the country.
“We enjoyed all the inspections and had loads of support so thought we should celebrate the win again as it’s the first time the squadron’s ever entered the Lees Trophy competition, and we won.”
Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson said: “We are extremely lucky at Longbenton Squadron to be able to offer our young people the opportunity to gain over eight different kinds of vocational qualifications up to A Level equivalent.
“We’re all very proud of how our youngsters have begun the Programme and wish them all success in their venture.”
For more on the squadron visit www.2344.org.uk.