Rik Corrigan is an ex-Services RAF Regiment Gunner who has been using his skills to inspire children and young people for the last 10 years. After leaving the military Rik was introduced to SkillForce by an Area Manager, who had also served in the RAF.
“I was invited over for a week of experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it and met a lot of great kids from all sorts of different backgrounds and difficulties. I had all the skills required after being on the troop training for 7 years and on previous training on squadrons, so I knew I wanted to go into the training world at some level.
“I just wanted to pass my skills and experience on to young people – I tell them the story that I had nothing, but I gained skills in the military and by working with SkillForce.”
Having left school with no qualifications, Rik wanted to provide young people with what he thought was missing during his personal experience at school.
“I had a good upbringing and my parents were hard working, but I rarely saw them so I didn’t have the extra support with homework that I would have benefited from. I wasn’t as academic as my older brother and sister who left school with quite a good education. Had SkillForce been around when I was at school things certainly may have been different as I would have had access to the support that I feel I missed out on.”
Rik finds working in the classroom with the young people the most enjoyable aspect of his job as a SkillForce Instructor. He says, “It’s lovely to see these young people grow as young people into mature young adults. You can’t get all of them to turn the corner, but those you do see make changes in their behaviour and move on to positive destinations give you a great sense of reward.”
As one of the first Instructors to deliver the new SkillForce Character Award, Rik is confident in the positive effects it will have on young people. “The programme is targeting ‘the self’, it’s targeting the individual to look at themselves rather than just attain another academic achievement.
“The award will be life changing for them, because it’s developing them as a person to become their best selves. If I can have an impact on these kids and help develop their character and enable them to reach their full potential, then that’s fantastic.”