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Suffolk schools kids Skype with builders at local US military base

CONCERNS were raised today about a “career opportunities” scheme which is being marketed to children in Suffolk by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The ministry has announced that the Skype-based jobs push will see year 10 pupils from Mildenhall College Academy chat to a manager at Kier VolkerFitzpatrick (KVF) construction, which is expanding the airfield’s facilities at RAF Lakenheath.

Despite its name, the base is used primarily by the US air force, which is developing it to make space for a new fleet of F35 fighter jets.

The MoD is forking out £160 million to construction giant KVF to expand the base and says it “feels strongly that the project should also strengthen and support the local community.”

To that end the ministry is starting monthly Skype talks pairing the 13 and 14-year-olds cohort at Mildenhall College with “someone working on the RAF Lakenheath construction project.”

Each session will last for 30 minutes and pupils will be given copies of speakers’ CVs to “support their career discussions in the classroom.”

Campaign group ForcesWatch coordinator Emma Sangster told the Morning Star: “Some career opportunities raise significant ethical questions, particularly in the defence sector and supporting industries.

“We hope that young people are encouraged to debate these issues during this project, and make their own fully informed decisions.”

James Hindes, managing director of strategic projects at KVF, said he was “pleased the KVF team have been able to find a way to host career sessions with schools local to RAF Lakenheath as the nature of the project prevents us from being able to invite pupils to the site.”

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