"Rant On' We have lived in Europe (Italy and Switzerland) for the last 18 years (for job purposes). In all that time we have attempted to keep up with what was hapening in the UK. However, when Trackpen junior phoned me just now, I nearlt blew a gasket. He was 5 when we moved to Italy and spent the next 12 years with us, his family (Mother and Father both 100% British). When we moved to Switzerland - again, work related - we sent him back to the UK to school, at the age of 17, just for the two years of 6th Form. Despite the obvious disadvantage he had having never, to that point had a school lesson conducted in English, he put his head down and achieved 38 points in the IB. This gained him a place at Exeter University to read International Relations and Italian, from where he graduated last year with a 2:1. He was also in the OTC for the entire time he was at University. OK, so we know the job market for graduates is extremely difficult at the moment, and he has been lucky a) to be able to live with my parents and b) to find himself a basic wage job at an accountants. What really gripes him and me, is that he would like to join the armed forces but has been told he is not eligible for the job he would like to do because he has not lived in the UK continuously for 10 years. So he then applied to the Met. Only those with a 2:1 or better need apply. Out of the 4,000 original applicants he, at least made it through to the final round of interviews where the emphasis was, undoubtedly. on Management anbd, specifically, on Change Management. Nothing, of course, to do with actually being a copper. He has just received the e-mail telling him " while you had not achieved the required standard for the MPS Graduate Development Programme you had achieved the required standard for MPS regular police constable recruitment. The purpose of this email is to inform you of an opportunity of regular police constable recruitment in the MPS." The e-mail goes on to say that in order to even apply to go into the Job, he has to have the CPK, or Policing Knowledge Certificate. In essence, this is nothing more than basic training, for which the candidate has to pay between GBP 800 and GBP 1,000, out of their own pocket. One site I have found states this is equivalent to an 'A' Level. Excuse me, but I was always under the impression that a high score at IB and a good degree, and in my son's case an external French Government qualification in French (with distinction), seems to trump an additional 'A' level. Are they really saying that anybody who wants to be a copper has to pay up to GBP 1,000 for their own basic training before they can even apply for a post? Where, pray, are they going to find this money? Frankly I find this unbelievable. So the upshot is HM Forces don't want him because he had the misfortune to be a youngster when his father had to move to mainland Europe for work purposes; despite being absolutely fluent in three European languages the Civil Service (FCO) doesn't want him because he doesn't speak Management fluently enough to pass the on-line initial applications; and any Police force - sorry, Service - in the UK won't even consider taking him until he has paid, himself, for his own basic training. 'Rant over' Comments welcome.