Craig Slicker, a former Lance Corporal left the Infantry in 2013 after 17-years’ service. After being made redundant, Craig has continued to struggle to find the right role which suits his experience and skills. He believes Veterans’ Gateway will be a great tool for people struggling to find work and adjust to life outside the military - something he is still battling.
As a Lance Corporal and Commanding Officer’s driver, Craig travelled the breadth of the country. He was based all over the UK and Europe - including Cyprus and Germany. Craig said there were a number of career highlights within his 17-years’ service, including an operational tour in Ireland and travelling to Canada with his unit. Craig was made redundant in 2013 and said the transition into civvy street was a “shock to the system” and he is still continuing to struggle after he was not entitled to any resettlement support.
“When I was told I was leaving, I was given six weeks to find a job and after being in the Army for so long, it was a shock. I didn’t know what I could do or what I wanted to do and I wasn’t offered much support,” he explained. Craig, who is based in Rochdale said adapting into civvy street was very difficult, he said he was unaware of what support services were out for there for him so did not reach out to any agencies or charities for help and guidance.
Craig, who said he still misses Army life is currently a warehouse operative. He is still looking for driving and security work, roles that he believes suits his skills and experience, but he said employers have been unable to translate his military skills into commercial experience and have a lack of understanding of what his role in the military involved. “No matter what you put on your CV, many people think I am under-qualified or overqualified, it is difficult,” he added.
The 43-year-old has been offered support from Walking with the Wounded Charity who have offered to help him complete a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) course to help him progress in his career - but he is unable to take time off from his job to complete the course.
The former Lance Corporal said a service like Veterans’ Gateway would have been incredibly helpful for him when he left as he had no idea what support was available to him and who could help. “I think it will be something I will use in the future as I am still struggling financially, just getting used to being paid weekly in a challenge and trying to balance the bills - and I’m still struggling to find employment so I will definitely use it,” he added.
To find out more about Veterans' Gateway click here.
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