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Helping to get the 50-plus into work

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 21, 2012

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  • Passing out - L-R Dave Poxen ,Geoff Ayers, Martin Doyle, Bodmin Mayor Ken Stubbs, Clive Cook, Robert Cuthill, Richard Brown, Paul Wilmour with their certificates.

  • PASSING OUT: From left, Dave Poxen, Geoff Ayers, Martin Doyle, Bodmin Mayor Ken Stubbs, Clive Cook, Robert Cuthill, Richard Brown, and Paul Wilmour.

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THREE injured combat veterans have been helping unemployed people over 50 in Bodmin get back into work through a six-week training course.

Active Plus, which receives ESF (European Social Fund) Convergence money, employs ex-servicemen to run the courses which give the unemployed the confidence and skills to find a job or set up a business.

The veterans taught a range of skills including interview techniques, first aid and IT skills at Cornwall's Regimental Museum in Bodmin.

The people on the course have now completed their training and were awarded certificates by Bodmin's mayor Ken Stubbs.

One of the instructors, former Falklands War veteran Julian Harman, said Active Plus has been running courses throughout Cornwall for the past 18 months, partly funded by Cornwall Works 50+ and has seen 30 per cent of clients progressing into employment.

"The course covered subjects like fire prevention, first aid, interview and CV presentation among many others," he said.

Active Plus director Tim Cocks, a retired firefighter, said: "The success of the project stems from training and developing injured veterans as instructors.

"They come with a wealth of knowledge and experiences and can deliver information and training in an empathetic manner at the right level.

"The veterans can relate to the clients as many of them have suffered from unemployment, isolation, depression and self-doubt. Working together provides mutual benefits that motivate and inspire all involved."

"One of our instructors is a former member of Special Forces who worked for military intelligence interrogating prisoners in Iraq, and he taught interview techniques about things like eye contact and body language."

Mr Cox said following the course, a number of the men were now doing voluntary work for the first time, which will help their CVs and hopefully lead to paid employment.

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