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Title: The uniformed cadet forces : unreported barriers to youth enrichment outcomes in community-based cadet units
Authors: Barber, Paul Edward
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The uniformed cadet forces (UCFs) are volunteer-led, armed forces inspired, providers of outof-school enrichment provision for young people similar to the scouts, church groups or sports clubs. In a context of neo-liberal style state retreat from community-based youth enrichment provision, it is unclear as to whether the UCFs can fill this provision gap. Largely Ministry of Defence sponsored, the existing literature lacks a critical analysis of claimed outcomes. This research addresses this gap in the literature, highlighting unreported impediments to service delivery. Using the Sea Cadet Corps (SCC) as a case study, it employs the autoethnographic reflections of an ex-cadet leader to develop a quantitative survey of 405 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs). Bourdieu’s constructs of field, habitus, and capital are used as a conceptual framework to analyse the data, using the SpSS software package, discovering seven barriers to youth outcomes missing from the literature. These impediments are ‘path dependency’ of cadet units, ‘cultural transition’ problems for CFAVs, the requirements of volunteers to commit their ‘central life interests’ to the SCC, the needs of ‘serious leisure’ participants, the problems of ‘marginal volunteering’ for those wishing to leave, ‘efficacy’ limitations, and the predominance of ‘situated-volunteers.’ The policy recommendations arising from these findings are aimed at both the SCC and stakeholder government departments. It is recommended that the SCC need to explicitly focus on the volunteer-experience comparable in importance to the cadet-experience, acknowledge and address volunteer shortages and training qualification shortfalls amongst CFAVs, and to address the ambiguity of whether it is a military recruitment organisation or generic youth enrichment provider. It also needs financial support to appoint paid volunteer enablers, introduce reservist style status for key volunteers, and to bring each unit under central control, ending their charitable status, which is the cause of so many barriers to claimed outcomes.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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