The City of Cape Town’s Metro Police Department has added a workplace skills course to its exit strategy for youth cadets across the City. A group of 18 youths is now making history as they become the first cadets to receive the exit strategy training in various disciplines to prepare them for the job market. The Volunteer Youth Cadet Programme was launched in May 2013 as an offshoot of the Metro Police Youth Camps. The programme started with a first intake of 32 members and has subsequently grown to nearly 200 cadets. The Western Cape Education Department identified schools to participate in the camps themed around positive youth development. Learners who showed the most improvement in behaviour and discipline after attending the camps were selected to register as youth cadets.The programme aims to help its members become active community leaders by instilling social responsibility and working in partnership with the Metro Police and other Law Enforcement agencies to fight crime and keep the City safe. Cadets are eligible to wear the uniform, go out on public duty (under supervision), and receive membership award certificates.“We wanted to instil positive values in our cadets so they can be agents of change in their families and communities. The practical elements that we’ve started introducing, like driver training, access to bursaries and other development opportunities, are meant to reward our cadets for their commitment, but also to ensure sustainable outcomes from their involvement with the programme,” says JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services.In the next chapter of the cadet exit strategy a group of 18 cadets will become the first to undergo the workplace skills training. For 18 months they will receive instruction on a number of aspects including peace officer and traffic warden training, ethics, fire fighting, first aid, physical fitness instruction, presentation skills, communication skills and basic administrative skills. There is also a practical work component that will include deployment with the Law Enforcement Department’s neighbourhood safety teams, assisting as coaches for the youth cadet programme, and working with instructors to implement the physical fitness baseline assessment.