Ex-Royal Scots officer sets up soldiers’ jobs charity

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A FORMER infantry officer is setting up a charity to help ex-service personnel find jobs in the energy industry.

Magnus Jeffrey, who was a captain with the Royal Scots Borderers, has forged a career as a project engineer with energy services firm Senergy. He launched Network Aberdeen in 2011 as an informal group but is now seeking charitable status to expand its work.

Jeffrey said: “The hardest thing is definitely that initial step. A lot of people leave the services without industry qualifications, but they often have the knowledge and skills needed.”

He explained that many people leaving the armed forces fall at the first hurdle because they don’t get asked to job interviews.

“Their applications often fall foul of the automated systems as it is difficult to relay their appropriate skills and expertise on paper,” he said. “If the same individual is able to meet with someone and given the opportunity to explain what they can offer, the outcome can be very positive for both parties.”

In March, Business Secretary Vince Cable unveiled plans for a national scheme to help ex-military personnel get jobs in the sector. Cable cited industry estimates that 15,000 staff will be required over the next four-to-five years, with some 26,000 troops eligible for redundancy, according to the Aberdeen Network.

Jeffrey added: “It can be very difficult leaving a career like the military; it is a life change rather than just changing job. Having a support group makes that process a bit easier. Those hit by the recent redundancies may find the focus provided by a network even more beneficial.”