Former Army Cadet Force Adult Instructor Nikki Laker is using her skills to inspire and motivate children and young people in the North East.
Nikki says, “I received so much military training and experience as a child, then later as an instructor I achieved so many things: I completed the Nijmegen marches, was educated about the escape lines in Holland and Normandy and walked all of those, had lots of cultural visits and even went skiing.”
Nikki gained her commission, and her roles included detachment commander, training officer, county first aid officer, before finally becoming a Company 2IC.
“Whilst I was a volunteer in the Army Cadet Force, I decided that I wanted to pursue working with children as a career. I enjoyed working with Army Cadets and after volunteering for so long I wanted to turn it into a career. Through the Cadets I was made aware of an opportunity to work abroad as a Student Citizenship Programme Instructor in Dubai. I was successful and subsequently left to live in the UAE for five years.”
Nikki has now been working for SkillForce since April 2015 and finds her job extremely rewarding.
“SkillForce has helped me improve on my knowledge and experience in working with young people. I’ve learnt so much with SkillForce; working with different age students has broadened my experience and adaptability.
“I thoroughly enjoy working with children. Seeing them develop their skills throughout the year, even week on week, and being able to see them change from what they were at the beginning of the year just gives me complete job satisfaction.”
Nikki is one of the first instructors to deliver the new SkillForce Character Award and is enthusiastic about how the programme will help the young people she works with. “I was honoured to be selected to deliver the Award, and the training was the best I’ve ever been on with SkillForce. I think this Award is going to provide young people with the right tools to move forward as the skills aren’t things taught in their academic lessons.
“Schools concentrate mainly on maths, English, science, history etc. This Award works on developing honesty, responsibility, and other qualities that makes them a better person. It involves working on the individual and trying to make them more understanding and a better person, teaching them how to cope with real life situations.”