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 has not 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: “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,”he said.
“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 Midlothian Council, the Armed Forces Covenant 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 co-ordinator 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 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.