Soldier set for life as civilian.
A soldier is looking forward to life on civvy street thanks to the corporate management development centre at Newcastle Business School (NBS), in Northumbria University.
Steve Gaskell, a regimental quarter master sergeant (RQMS) for the Infantry Training Centre at Catterick, recently graduated from NBS with a diploma in management development having completed a certificate in higher education.
NBS joined forces with the British Army in 2003 to offer soldiers from the rank of corporal upwards and officers the chance to study an online programme that helps them become more effective in current roles, preparing them for life outside the armed forces.
Steve said: "I've been in the Army for 21 years and am due to leave in March next year.
"I signed up to the NBS programme as I wanted formal accreditation for the management skills I have learned in the army and to help me make the transition to civilian life.
"I left school without any qualifications and have found it invaluable to gain a formal academic qualification through work-based projects."
RQMS Gaskell, 38, achieved the year-long Diploma in Management Development while stationed in Northern Ireland and then Iraq. He said: "When I wasn't on the streets of Basra or patrolling local provinces, I studied for my qualification. It was a challenging environment and the biggest difficulty was getting on the Internet."
When Sergeant Major Gaskell returned to the UK, he was promoted and posted to Catterick, and offered a place on the day release scheme, with every second Friday off to visit NBS. He hopes to start a degree in business studies.
Programme director at NBS Sandra Corlett said: "The course has proven a real hit."