Injured veterans welcome job opportunities through new social enterprise.
In Good Company: A Look Inside The Factory Putting Veterans On A New Path.
Former Armed Forces personnel are developing their engineering skills in ‘Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company’…
A factory in Renfrewshire, Scotland, is giving veterans a chance to promote their employment prospects after their service.
‘Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company‘ (SBMC) is offering a hand to those transitioning from the Armed Forces to the civilian workforce, by looking at their skills and applying them to factory operations.
Offering a different range of challenges to those faced in deployment, they’re helping veterans map out a new career path.
The factory also gives them a chance to test themselves.
Gary Jamieson is an Army veteran and a double-amputee who operates the water cutter at SBMC.
“I’m getting qualifications on the machinery that we’re using, but also getting practise, seeing how far we can go.”
“Here I’m getting the ability to see where my limits are so when I go for a full-time job I can say ‘I can do that, I can operate this, here’s my limit.”
A recent major refurbishment has given the company a chance to take on new staff. It’s now competing with others for lucrative contracts to grow even further in the industry.
The factory is branching out and makes everything from metal components for offshore work to roadsigns for councils and highway management companies and has most recently entered the publishing field.
Those at the helm believe there are plenty of suitable roles in manufacturing waiting for the workers.
Michelle Ferguson is the company Director: “They come out and the words that are used within civilian organisations aren’t always the same ones that we have here. What we try to do is get them to realise what they have to offer.”
“One of the biggest problems that they face is they don’t realise the skills they actually have.”
William Murray, another veteran, is confident that his time with the company will improve his industry prospects:
“I’m really enjoying the machinery that I didn’t think I’d ever get to use, in the army or even out on ‘civvy street’. It’s given me an opportunity, it’s going to open other doors when we’re finished.”
Training is handled by those with years of experience in the manufacturing and engineering industries.
One thing they’ve noticed is the vast range of transferable skills ex-military personnel bring to the table.
Andy Russell is one of those overseeing the process:
“I’ve worked in manufacturing and engineering all my days and seen people coming into factories and engineering – trying to get roles – who don’t have the skills that these guys have got.
“When you look at what their history’s given them, their skills, whether it’s logistics or communication or just confidence, they’ve got a huge amount to give.”
The above article by David McCann first published on forces.net in Dec, 2018.