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Mar 15, 2016

Serviceman to Civilian - Part 3: First Port of Call

After thirteen years in the British Army, Ben is preparing to become one of over 14,000 skilled and experienced service members transitioning from the Armed Forces every year in the UK. 

Having taken the 'Giant Leap of Faith' and given notice to terminate his service, Ben has seven months left to find himself a new career in the wilds of civilian life.

'So, my first port of call was visiting my local education centre for a one-day lesson on what my entitlements are, what Learning Credits are and how to use them.

As I sat in the Education Centre waiting room, others dressed in civilian attire began filtering in, each holding a folder and each looking as enthusiastic, uncomfortable and unsure as I was.

After a few hours and following the usual ice-breaker introductions, we fell into two distinct categories; those that have terminated early (Under 22 years service) and those who have completed their service. However, we did have something in common; nobody knew for sure where they would be in twelve months time.

Having used some of the opportunities open to service personnel previously, such as the Army Skills Offer and Standard Learning Credits scheme, I was fairly familiar with what could be achieved.  It did however open up my eyes to the opportunity of conducting work placements and time off from work to undertake training courses, as well as the funding sources.

I consider myself very lucky to have attended this course within a few weeks of formally terminating my contract, as I know of someone else who had to wait up to three months to attend and, when time really is of the essence, three months is a lifetime sat doing nothing and not knowing what to do next.'

Next Blog: Part 4 - 'Fear'

We would like to thank Ben for kindly agreeing to let FRS feature his series of blogs shared from his own page 'Serviceman to Civilian'

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