Leaving the Services with a bit of money in your pocket buys you time to think about what you really want to do and the means to go out and get it.
There are millions of people sat at desks they don’t want to be sat at, making phone calls to people they don’t want to speak with and doing a job, that ultimately, they don’t want to do. This kind of existence can drain the colour and excitement from life and make getting up in the morning excruciating – but it doesn’t have to be that way for you.
As a Service-leaver you’ll be leaving the Armed Forces with a training allowance and a lump sum. This is an enviable combination since it gives you at least a bit of time to consider your next move. It’s a lot easier to think about things when you’re not under immediate pressure to find work to pay the bills and a clear head will obviously make better long term decisions than one clouded with stress. Perhaps that’s why so many people enduring the working world never get to do what they actually want to do. They find a job and stop thinking about what they really would like to do simply because their focus ‘needs’ to be on what they should be doing to preserve their lot.
Change is frightening for anyone but for Service-leavers it presents an incredible opportunity. Rarely do people get to make a dramatic change mid-career without huge trauma, uncertainty or sacrifices. The difficulty is that for many people, careers are selected when they’re young and they lack the experience and insight to really understand what they’re letting themselves in for. Second chances are rare and definitely worth grasping.
You could feasibly have been dreaming of what you’d like to do post-Services for years, in which case, you will almost certainly have looked into Civilian Workplace Attachments (CWA). These are primarily designed to help Service-leavers get sector specific work experience and on-the-job training.
Because there is no set timeframe CWA’s can range from one day up to the limit of your Graduated Resettlement Training (GRT) allowance. Even if you don’t end up working for that employer, you’ve still gained vital experience and knowledge of that job sector which could help you to sure-up decisions regarding whether or not a particular job is for you and if you’d like to pursue further training.
Better still, because GRT is an official duty allocation of time away from your place of work for resettlement purposes, the employer providing the ‘work experience’ won’t be asked to pay for your time, making it a lot easier for you to source an appropriate CWA. (It’s available for anyone who has served at least six years or who has been medically discharged and can commence up to two years before you leave.
Service-leavers with six or more years Service and all medical discharges are eligible for the Individual Resettlement Training Costs (IRTC) grant. The grant is a contribution to training costs and can be used internally at the Resettlement Training Centre (RTC), Aldershot or at a Regional Resettlement Centre (RRC) for vocational training courses. It can also be used externally for training with CTP preferred suppliers. The flexibility of the grant means that you’ll have a host of training suppliers and courses to choose from; far more than you might think, in fact.
Choosing Training Suppliers
Details on the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) website state that the: “IRTC is available for tuition fees up to a maximum of £534. A range of courses at the RTC Aldershot is delivered within the MOD contract (called Contract Funded training). These courses are pre-paid by the MOD and only ‘cost’ the Service-leaver time and a portion of the £534 allowance. No money changes hands for the training but days and funding are deducted from the GRT allocation at a rate of £26.70 per day. The £534 gives access to up to 20 days of CF training. Any exam or registration fees are extra and payable by the students but other allowances may be available to help with those.
The CTP also offers a range of courses that are not within the MOD contract known as Non-Contract Funded courses and you can use your IRTC grant or ELC to pay for these.” (Alternatively, if you are not eligible for the IRTC grant, you can use your Standard Learning Credits to buy CTP training on a standby/reserve basis.)
Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) can be used for resettlement training both with CTP’s non contract funded course programme and external preferred suppliers. For current advice on your individual circumstances and applying for ELC funding it’s best to contact your Service Resettlement Advisor.
Although resettlement can seem like a daunting prospect, a quick look down the other end of the telescope shows a landscape of brand new opportunities and exciting paths to take.
N.B: Civilian Trial Attachments (CWA) do not attract IRTC funding as they do not include formal course instruction. For more details contact your local Service Resettlement Adviser.
Entitled Service-leavers can make claims for travel and subsistence allowances on all approved briefings, training, attachments, workshops and interviews/consultations, in accordance with single Service regulations – for details, see the Tri Service Resettlement Manual.
If you use Individual Resettlement Preparation (IRP), subsistence doesn’t apply, although you can claim for travel from the allocation of claims/warrants available under Graduated Resettlement Time (GRT).