A plant based in Bishopton, Renfrewshire has become the first of its kind to hire veterans to help them retrain and upskill.
Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SBMC) was refurbished and refitted last year, costing £750,000, to offer successful applicants the opportunity of 18 months in training and shop floor experience.
The workshops and equipment based within the factory are not currently adapted or have reasonable adjustments for veterans with disabilities.
However, not to alienate a selection of potential employees, the lack of adaptions is to encourage employees to find different ways of working safely and effectively, to prepare them for the real-life working environment.
Legally, companies are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees, the factory environment is just a stepping stone to help people overcome any challenges they feel they may face.
Gary Jamieson, who served with 1st Battalion, the Scots Guards, was injured in an explosion, which saw him spend six years in rehabilitation.
Having lost his lower arm and both legs in an explosion, Gary believes he can master new skills after his time serving in Afghanistan and his journey to recovery.
— Michelle Ferguson (@Michelle_SocVal) December 18, 2018
Having spent time running his local pub, Gary was the first veteran to sign up to SBMC’s scheme.
Making road and rail sings, and a range of other products, Gary has quickly fallen into his position and is learning new skills daily.
Speaking with BBC Scotland, he said: “There was not too much pressure put on us to be exactly perfect straight away.
“Obviously, with me having three amputations, we have to find different ways to do certain things.”
Director of SMBC, Michelle Ferguson reveals the company is responding to figures which highlight the level of unemployment amongst veterans.
“It’s not about helping veterans get a job pushing supermarket trolleys.
“Success will mean helping those working here make the transition to sustainable employment, on a wage higher than the living wage.
“Everyone on a placement here has a disability – from chronic PTSD to someone like Gary, a triple amputee.”
Run by Royal British Legion Industries, and funded by the Scottish Government, Poppy Scotland and the National Lottery, the training scheme is set to change the face of veteran employment in Scotland.
Find out how you can get involved by visiting the SBMC website.