This week is 2020-Armed Forces Week, celebrating the brave men and women who have served, continue to serve or are in the early stages of their armed forces career. Thursday had a focus on army veterans and we are fortunate to have one here at Skills Exchange. Calum, our Training and Employment Assistant served in the army for six years before being medically discharged. Calum wanted to help inspire others by sharing his experience of what life is like after volunteering.
Calum was only 18 when he first signed up for the army. He said there were few options for him but he had always wanted to join the infantry so began his career in 2012 at Catterick. He was then based in Germany in an infantry battalion. Calum made lifelong friends, experienced great times in the army through job training, adventure training and becoming a boxer and coach. Unfortunately, though, his time in the army ended sooner than he had hoped due to being injured on a promotion course. After serving just over six years he had to be medically discharged because of his injuries. This led to Calum being unemployed for a long time, struggling to find an employer or something to do. Luckily, Calum came across an opportunity to volunteer at Skills Exchange, helping support young people into employment. Calum quickly became a valuable member of the Skills Exchange team and worked well with the young people, supporting them with trying to get employment themselves. After six months of volunteering, Calum was offered a Community Job Scotland paid post here at Skills Exchange. As an Employment and Training Assistant, he supports the staff with administrative tasks, helps the tutors delivering employability courses, provides aftercare support to the young people and runs the job club.
Calum says: “I enjoy engaging with our young people, building positive relationships and watching them move into employment or further education.”