Veterans placement internship first

Wednesday March 14th 2018

veterans placement internship with Midlothian Council

Sean Clancy (right) pictured at a youth drop in session at Eskdaill Court.

Sean Clancy has become the first person to complete a veterans placement internship with Midlothian Council.

Sean, from Edinburgh, has been working in the Lifelong Learning and Employability team as a Youth Support Worker since December last year.

Having left the army after 33 years of service, Sean joined the army reserves two years ago.  However a rolling, zero hours, contract hasn’t offered much stability. The 10 week placement at the Council came at a time when there were no hours available within the reserves, and so provided an opportunity for employment.

Speaking about his experience of the placement, Sean, who now lives in East Lothian, said:

“I first heard about the placement from one of the guys at the Lothians Veteran Centre in Dalkeith.  I felt the job description was similar to what I’ve done in my recent role in army which has been coaching and mentoring, helping others develop leadership skills.

“Midlothian Council have been really good with me since day one, offering support and encouraging me.  It was great to know that I could transfer into something like youth work as I was a bit worried my skill set from the army wouldn’t be compatible with much.

Sean also feels others who have been in army could benefit from these types of initiatives:

“There are a lot of soldiers who are displaced when they leave – they either don’t know about joining the reserves or maybe don’t want to.  Placements like these can get them back on solid ground and give them a launch pad to other things.”

The result of collaboration between Bright Green Business and the Council, the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) Midlothian Council Veteran Placement Programme offers five paid internships to post discharge veterans.

A second placement has been offered to a candidate, working in a separate Youth Support Worker role, while a third and fourth placement has been advertised for a Travel Coordinator and an Event and Project Officer.

Sean’s contribution to the Council has been highly beneficial and accordingly, his placement has since been extended to continue his work on the project.

The pilot programme, funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, aims to act as a learning tool to demonstrate how other local authorities can and should engage with veterans, a group with much to offer but often overlooked by employers.

George Archibald, Joint CEO of The Business Partnership said:

“Bright Green Business has been delighted to work in partnership with Midlothian Council and the various Veteran Support Organisations to facilitate this pilot programme. The funding from the Armed Forces Covenant has enabled us to open up a range of Internship opportunities within Midlothian Council.

“We have applied our Graduate Internship model to this group of Veterans and will take the learning from this pilot to encourage a range of local and national employers along with other Local Authorities to offer placements and employment to Veterans.  They offer all the skills and attributes needed by employers and they shouldn’t miss the opportunity to engage with them!”

The Council and Bright Green Business are supported on the venture by a number of veteran organisations including Edinburgh Garrison, Career Transition Partnership (CTP), Lothian Armed Forces and Veterans Project, Poppy Scotland and the Lothians Veterans Centre in Dalkeith.

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