A TRAINING college has gained a lottery grant to help ex-soldiers back into work.

Finchale Training College in Newton Hall, Durham, has been awarded £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for training to get young veterans into work.

The college currently provides a range of Veteran Support programmes and the new funding will help approximately 18 young soldiers from Durham and Darlington to access training and employment to help them back into civilian life.

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Programmes include an Early Service Leaver’s Support Service for 18-25 year olds who have left the military before the minimum service requirement because of personal or medical reasons. Soldiers who leave the army in these circumstances can have difficulties in finding employment and experience issues with money and housing.

Angela Kelly, Veteran’s Support Advisor at Finchale, said: "Leaving the Armed Forces quite suddenly and not through an informed decision, can often mean Early Service Leavers return to civilian life quite overwhelmed and unsure of what direction in life to take. It’s at this point we feel they need help most".

"By giving Early Service Leavers the opportunity to access training as soon as possible we can now help them to secure a positive return to civilian life and hopefully help them to avoid entering difficulties because they can gain the skills and qualifications they need to get a job quickly".

Max Metcalfe, 23, from West Cornforth, left the army less than six months ago and has now enrolled at Finchale.

He said: "I haven’t been out of the Army long and I’m already working towards getting my CCTV Licence and renewing my Security Industries Badge so I can get a job ASAP. The programme has really opened doors for me".