Meet Ross Lloyd
Ross Lloyd, 33
I had my joining paperwork in to the Army Careers Office during my last year of secondary school and had started basic training before I received my GCSE results. My training started in July 2001 and after successful completion of Infantry training I joined 2nd Battalion the Light Infantry. The regiment has some of its roots in the Borough as it was created from an amalgamation of the Durham Light Infantry and other regional Light Infantry units. I served between 2001 and 2016. During that time I served all over mainland UK as well as Cyprus, Falklands, Iraq, Northern Ireland, Belize, Kosovo and Kenya. During this time, the regiment amalgamated once more to be known as the Rifles. During my career I was employed as an Infantry Soldier, Communications Specialist, Intelligence Analyst, Junior Manager, Logistic Supply Specialist, Boxing Coach and Quad Bike Instructor.
The support available to those leaving or thinking of leaving the Armed Forces is good and well-funded. I pushed for the things that I wanted and convinced my chain of command that I was trusted to make use of my terminal leave at home. Some people don't get that much leeway which affected their chances of resettlement.
An ex-service person has a varied amount of funding available to them after they leave the military. I received quite a comprehensive package which included 3 annual grants of £2,000 to be used in my first 3 tax years after service and a £10,000 grant for further education (i.e. a degree) within 10 years of leaving the military. There are a number of courses available including First Aid at Work and basic health and safety. These courses are available through Armed Forces charities and forces friendly training providers. These courses can be free or provided at a reduced rate. This is provided to help the Armed Forces community get that first step on the employment ladder if they are struggling with unemployment or a permanent contract. There is free training funds for an employer that employs an ex-service person. There are many different avenues for the Armed Forces community to receive continued professional development. Being a member of the reserves or cadet forces can provide a training avenue for staff. All cadet instructors must have annual safeguarding training and DBS clearance (useful for schools and social care) as well as high government security clearance (useful in IT). Reservists can receive most military training and all Army reservists have annual training in substance misuse, values, equality and diversity training as well as others. All an employer would have to give is time for the employee to attend the training.
I approached South Tyneside Council's HR and asked for some work experience in Project Management during my terminal leave from the Army. They kindly put me in touch with the relevant department Manager. After an interview process, it was decided that I would join the Asset Management's Construction and Technical Services Team. After my employment with the Army came to an end, I had currently worked for South Tyneside Council for around 3 months. My Manager saw how useful I had become and I was, in turn, rewarded with a temporary contract of employment. I now work as the Assistant Facilities Officer for the Facilities Office at South Shields Town Hall. I assist in the day to day running of the Corporate Buildings, I manage the bespoke meetings and events at South Shields Town Hall and I am involved in office moves around the Borough.
I also support the Community Covenant and the NAAFI Break meetings. I am lucky to find myself in a position where I can support and sign post others to relevant agencies. I am also able to give some solid advice to the Armed Forces Community after overcoming some hurdles of my own. I hope to continue serving the public just like I started out many moons ago.