Getting Future Ready

We recently launched our new strategy, which will help us to support the organisation’s growth and ensure its long-term relevance

April saw more than 100 MSSC supporters gather at the House of Lords for the launch of our new Future Ready strategy. The ambitious five-year plan will shape Sea Cadets’ growth to 2028 and build on the progress brought about by our Regeneration over the past two years, which has helped our units get back to full activity post-pandemic, increased engagement with cadets and volunteers, and delivered digital transformation.

Hosted by MSSC Vice President, Lord Mountevans, the launch event was unique in that six cadets and two volunteers took a leading role in presenting – to a dauntingly prestigious audience of MPs, peers, youth sector leaders and senior military officers. Giving the cadets and volunteers the responsibility of handling the speeches was in recognition of their major role in developing the strategy – not least through the thoughtful priorities agreed at November’s Cadet Conference.

Commandant Colonel Royal Marines Cadets, Brigadier Ged Salzano MBE (right)

“Our new strategy has been developed by listening to our young people, who have shaped its three key elements: our Offer; our People; and Inclusion & Growth,” explained CEO Martin Coles in his introductory words. “Because no one is better placed to judge what we offer than cadets, or how we can help our volunteers and employees support them.” 

CEO Martin Coles CBE speaking at the launch 

Listening to young people

As a result, our offer will help to give our young people an even greater voice within the organisation – with the strategy setting a target for every unit to be holding regular cadet forums by 2028, while pledging that a number of national or area-level projects will be led by cadets in partnership with employees and volunteers.

Our offer will also better reflect today’s Royal Navy in the Sea Cadets Experience. As 17-year-old Petty Officer Cadet Joseph put it: “I’m delighted to see that the strategy sets out how our training will increasingly reflect the incredible technological changes the Royal Navy is implementing; we’ll need less morse code and more cyber training if we’re to get Future Ready!”  

Most importantly, getting Future Ready is about meeting the growing demand for what Sea Cadets provides, and maximising opportunities for our young people to grow, thrive and reach their full potential in today’s rapidly changing world. Much of that future growth will come from a focus on removing all barriers to accessibility, as Marines Cadet Recruit Nadirah, aged 15, explained in her speech to the House of Lords: 

“The number one strategic priority at our Cadet Conference was to ensure units and activities are accessible for people with disabilities. This has been taken seriously, with the new strategy making it clear that our offer must be accessible to all, to help Sea Cadets grow and support even more young people – from all backgrounds and circumstances.”

Cadet Dianne also spoke at the House of Lords

Making an impact

We’ve already been working to improve accessibility, as well as improve our policies and understanding of the issues around equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), with a new action plan to deliver on the 52 recommendations of our 2022 EDI audit. Meanwhile, to help deliver growth and reduce waiting lists, the strategy supports the creation of new units and sections. The overall target is to grow by 2,500 cadets by 2028, and we hope that many of these new entrants will come from communities with no existing provision, where our activities would have a huge impact. 

Of course, in order to grow, we must ensure we have enough volunteers with the qualities needed to launch young people for life. The strategy aims to achieve this by equipping more of our existing volunteers with the skills and training they need to provide the highest standards of youth-centred delivery. This will involve embracing flexible volunteering and offering even more support and mentoring – all of which will inspire new volunteers (including former cadets) to offer their time and talents to Sea Cadets. 

The confidence our young speakers showed in presenting the new strategy was the perfect demonstration of how our charity is succeeding in developing young people in uncertain times. We can’t stop the world changing, but our new strategy will help us adapt, thrive and ensure that, whatever the next five years brings, our young people will be Future Ready!

Find out more and download the full Future Ready strategy on our website.

Photos: Sea Cadets

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