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Ex-forces day with The National Grid at Suited for Success

Suited for Success held an ex-forces day on Thursday 28th June to help support unemployed ex-military men and women into employment.

The day supported a group of referred ex-military men from a variety of ex-forces backgrounds. They were each supported with an hour long one-to-one competency based interview coaching session by group of nine business managers from The National Grid who were volunteering with us for the day as part of their business social mobility aspirations. Each client was also dressed, styled and provided with a FREE full interview suit ready to give a great first impression in their next job interview.

We were also joined on the day by The Poppy Factory charity and the Pertemps Recruitment HM Forces Liaison team who were on hand to give support and employment advice. BBC Midlands Today also popped in to film a news feature about the day.

The majority of the clients were referred through The Poppy Factory an ex-forces charity who support unemployed veterans who have medical conditions or impairments into employment. On the day the veterans shared stories about their journey from being in the forces and are now trying to transition into civilian life.

Transitioning to civvy street

Stories included 34 Years old James who served 8 years with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the Queens Royal Hussars. He was discharged due to suffering an injury to his left hand. When James left school he joined the Army at the age of 16. He served for 3 years and he then left and rejoined the army in 2007 where he served for a further 6 years. Matthew 38, served with the Queens Royal Hussars for 9 years and seen active service in Iraq and Kosovo. He has been diagnosed with PTSD and has worked a number of jobs as a removals and delivery driver but has never been able to hold a job down. The transition from soldier to civilian has been incredibly tough.

Ready for the next chapter

Lee was discharged from the army seven years ago suffering post traumatic stress after seeing his colleague killed in Iraq and has been long-term unemployed. He was so pleased to attend the event and couldn't thank everyone enough for their help and support. He said: "I feel absolutely amazing in my suit, I feel like a different man, I'm ready for the next chapter. More veterans need to hear about support like this, if they knew it was available to them then you wouldn't have so many ex-soldiers struggling and homeless. It's been an absolutely fantastic day!"

Our commitment to the armed forces

Suited for Success is developing a new strand of work to support unemployed ex-military men and women into employment working together with ex-military charities and organisations across the West Midlands as part of our 'More Than Just a Suit' programme and our commitment to being part of the Armed Forces Covenant. The ex-forces days and events are additional to our regular one-to-one appointments also creating a platform to offer CSR skilled employee volunteering opportunities with our business partners and supporters.

See more pictures from our first ex-forces day...

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