Military veterans in Portsmouth helped to show off their skills for work on civvy street

Portsmouth City Council is offering those on the cusp of leaving the forces work experience at the authority's Guildhall Square HQ
Portsmouth City Council is offering those on the cusp of leaving the forces work experience at the authority's Guildhall Square HQ
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Portsmouth City Council is offering those on the cusp of leaving the forces work experience at the authority’s Guildhall Square HQ.

Four military personnel have already seized the opportunity, which has been touted as a key stepping stone to improving a CV.

The opportunity is all part of the armed forces covenant, a pledge signed by the council to support military personnel and their families.

Caroline Hopper, armed forces covenant programme manager at the city council, said this was about realising the skills military veterans possessed.

She said: ‘This is a linchpin in terms of outcomes. Employment is key – particularly for those who have spent the last 22 or 24 years serving their country.

‘Not having employment and the impact that can bring can be really devastating.

‘The point of this is to try to get people to realise what transferable skills they can bring to the civilian world that they might not know how to phrase in a CV.’

The council is able to offer up to seven weeks of work experience to individuals.

Among those to have taken advantage of this is army captain John Pearce.

He has been working with vulnerable children capitalising on his skills honed mentoring young soldiers.

Also supported has been Joe Welch, who is part of the army’s employability placement scheme and has been working at the council.

The 22-year-old from Southsea had been unemployed for a year and now feels hopeful about the future after tackling a week-long army training course in Kent.

‘When I wasn’t working I was starting to get lazy,’ he said. ‘It was dull and boring.

‘Now I have totally changed. I am always up and ready to work. I have got a can-do attitude.

‘It’s changed my life. I’m hoping to join the navy soon.’

On Tuesday a free event for veterans, reservists and serving personnel to ‘speed date’ with city business bosses is being staged.

The event is 6.30-8.30pm at the Royal Maritime Club, in Queen Street, Portsea. To register, call 07827 811870 or search ‘Forces & Business Connect’ ‘at eventbrite.co.uk