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promised a while ago that I'd attempt my pearls of wisdom for the civdiv page , so here goes.....
Having done 16 years I'll be honest and say I really didn't have a clue what to do when I got out. I attended the Catterick resettlement centre a few times but still didn't find anything that caused me to be excited about my future.
I happened to read an article in the paper about the lack of tradesmen in the construction industry, 37,000 plumber shortfall expected by 2009 etc, so decided to have a better look.
I attended a seminar in Catterick held by British Gas who convinced me that I had all of the qualities that they wanted...... truth however was slightly different. I attended a plumbing course thinking that it was a cert to get me in with BG, but after attending an interview I was told that I didn't have the experience with the public that they valued so highly. "Right that's it then" I thought, "fucked innit" no film about confessions of a gas fitter for me!
I sent a shedload of CVs out to every plumbing outfit in the local yellow pages and ended up with a few daft replies, but in the end I received one from the company I now work for.
I've now been working for the company for the last 18 months and I have to say that I'm having a whale of a time, but that's not what this is about.
I know it's taken a while to get here but here's a snippet of info for those of you that decide to read this page at some stage. When I got the knock back from BG, having done everything they said would secure me the job, I was gutted and didn't know where to go next. I carried on phoning and writing to every plumbing company in the phone book and eventually got the job I was looking for. As an adult trainee the union rate is £7.60 an hour, I'm now on £8.63 an hour, which doesn't sound a lot but then I can ask for £100+ a day for a foreigner, so it's not too bad after all.
Just to top it all off, you're not bored enough yet, the other day I asked my boss about the possibility of taking on my 18 year old next door neighbour as an apprentice. His reply was that he had had enough of young lads who can't get out of bed and are forever ill, he said he would gladly swap the 5 apprentices that the company presently has for 1 squaddie any day of the week. We don't turn up late, we don't cry off sick and we have standards that your average 17/18 year old will never dream of. In short we're the type of chap that the construction industry is screaming out for.
I'm happy, extremely happy. The boys are good, you feel as though you've achieved something at the end of the day and the cash ain't bad. Give it a thought .
Lee Baker's experience.....
Hi Simon and fellow club members, Reference civ div,
having left the Army just under four years ago, I thought Iíd write and tell you
about my experiences.
I left the Army having dedicated fourteen years of my life to the Royal Engineers after joining at sixteen straight from school.
I was a Sergeant when I left and it was a gamble jumping into the unknown. The Army had given me job security, a roof over my head and an extended family. I wonít lie, I actually cried after arriving home on my last day.
When I was leaving the army I found there were lots of IT companies offering service personnel all sorts of promises if they attended their IT training courses. I was told the IT industry was really short and you could be earning £25000 a year when you leave the Army. They also stated that they would put me on a job database and would contact me when job vacancies came up. The reality was the only person who found himself a job after leaving the Army was me!!
Every company I wrote to or telephoned asked me the question how much experience do you have?. My answer of six weeks MSCE training with company X was answered with, sorry but we are looking for someone with one to two years experience for this job with a starting salary of £16000 a year. Personally I think IT was the wrong choice for me. If youíre trade in the forces is computer based then a career in IT could be for you and the training offered by the IT companies will help you to get the qualifications needed to gain employment. If youíre a combat engineer and have no experience of computers or networking choose a different resettlement course.
I left the Army without a job to go too, but signed on with a temping agency and ended up working straight away. Temping gave me the opportunity to earn money and look around for other jobs. I managed to find an IT position on real crap wages after six weeks. Some of the people I worked with temping ended up being given full time employment after two months by the company we were working for.
To cut a long story short, I ended up sacking IT after six months because it was boring and I had nothing in common with the computer whiz kids I was working with. I ended up joining the Police, which was something Iíd never considered prior to leaving the Army. I have now been in the Police for three years and glad that I left the Army when I did. My top tips for leaving the forces would be.
1. Buy a house prior to getting out and get your family settled where you want to live.
2. Always wear a suit to any job interview.
3. Tell the people interviewing you about your service career and harp on about all the responsibility you had.
4. Donít believe everything training companies try to tell you (at the end of the day they want you to attend their course so that they get your resettlement grant)
5. Try not to worry, itís a big wide world out here and it does take a little bit of getting used to, but once your settled life can be good fun outside the forces.
bit of info for the civ div, one of my lads is leaving the RGJ and he intended as advised on his resettlement board to combine his enhanced learning credits and resettlement grant to pay for a course only to find out this is not possible you can use one or the other for your resettlement course not both as you are lead to believe.
Also if using the enhanced credit system it may be difficult to use the DRSA for accomm on a residential course.
So all of us in this position need to think carefully and plan ahead, also ensure that you have registered for the enhanced credit system they can check for you over the phone and will send your conformation through the post which you need to do any of the courses.
Hope this of some use Dickie 2 Coats
Just a quick one from my work address re your request for tips on getting
I had a similar course to yours at RAF Cottesmore run by a flashy, head-hunting civvy recruitment consultant, so I can't stress enough the importance of having a good CV. Also, when asked "What if I'm up against a
graduate, they're going to pick the graduate every time aren't they?" his reply was "Do you know what we in the recruitment business say to a graduate with a job? Big Mac and fries please." That gem stays with me forever.
But my main tips are as follows:
1. Register with the RFEA (Regular Forces Employment Association) well before getting out, they are a superb source of job vacancies. That's how I got the job I'm in now.
2. Read a book called Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions by Martin Yate. Then read it again.
3. Consider joining the filth; even after doing 22 years in the forces, you will be head and shoulders above any civilian recruits.
4. DO NOT accept any jobs doing convoy escorts in Iraq, no matter how tempting the pay is. It's a sure fire way of getting yourself killed.
5. Final and most important one: STAY IN TOUCH WITH YOUR MATES.
Ref Civ div. If I can give one good tip it would be,
believe in yourself, civvy employers love ex servicemen. They take less sick
time ,work under their own initiative. and are far more disciplined and better
under pressure than their civilian counterparts.
2) Still dress up for an interview however old fashioned it may be. When I got my current job there were 2000 applicants for 6 jobs and the HR manageress spent the whole interview talking to my bulled shoes. and commented on how refreshing it was ton see someone who new how to prepare for an interview.
3)) Do not take the first job offered if it isn't right for you. I know from bitter experience. I was too proud to go on the dole when I left the RAF and took a job which paid the same money as benefits but then I had to pay travel costs poll tax etc . I was actually worse of working. added to that I then had no time to look for a decent job. It possibly cost me six years of near poverty.
4) You have served your country you are entitled to everything you get . It is not a charity but an insurance policy.
hope this is of use
cheers Mik Boon
Good to visit web sites;
http://www.demobjob.co.uk/ Thanks Danny Siggers for this, Danny hasn't used them but have a look any way