There are currently 120,000 unemployed veterans in the UK and 87% said they had experienced financial problems since leaving the armed forces. Reports show that the average net household income of the ex-service personnel surveyed was less than £17,000 a year, with one in five surviving on less than £7,500. But there is another way – using your Enhanced Learning Credits to retrain will help you get back on your feet and into a successful new career.
What are Enhanced Learning Credits?
The MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (sometimes shortened to ELC) provides financial support to further your learning with a nationally recognised qualification at Level 3 or above when you leave the forces.
Their aim is to help you transition back into civilian life and into a new career, often using skills you’ve gained during your time serving in the British Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines.
If you’ve served for four years or more since 2000, you can claim Enhanced Learning Credits for up to 10 years after leaving.
If you haven’t served the minimum of four years as you were Wounded, Injured or Sick (WIS) or medically discharged, it’s worth checking as you may still be eligible to claim ELCs
Reports show that 76% of service men and women don’t use their ELC entitlement, which is a waste of a fantastic opportunity to retrain and start a new career once you leave the forces.
As you’ll already know, serving in the military means training to be in peak physical condition and having a healthy mindset, so it’s hardly a surprise that many ex-forces personnel choose to retrain for a career in health and fitness. But did you know that you can use your Enhanced Learning Credits towards a Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training?
If you decide that you’d like to use the skills learned through your time serving to train and help others live a healthier lifestyle, you could get part, or all of your diploma paid for through the ELC scheme!
How ELCs can benefit your career
Whether you’ve already left or you’re planning to leave the Forces, adding valuable qualifications to your CV can help you get ahead when you’re back on ‘civvy street’.
One of the major barriers to starting (or even thinking about) further education is often the cost. But with the rising impact of salary prospects with up-to-date skills and qualifications and help from the MOD with the ELC scheme, there’s every reason to head back into education and embrace the opportunity to begin a rewarding career in an industry you feel passionate about.
Why choose a career in fitness?
A new career in fitness can help give you a new sense of satisfaction and achievement. You’ll be able to directly impact your client’s lives by giving them the skills and knowledge to enjoy a fitter, healthier lifestyle.
From military style boot camp workshops, obstacle course training classes, fitness inventions and new ways of working out, ex-servicemen and women are finding a successful place for themselves in the fitness industry.
Here are just a few reasons why more and more military personnel are drawn to a career in fitness (and why civilians choose to hire them as Personal Trainers!):
- Habit – fitness training is part of everyday life in the military – particularly in areas such as the armed/special operations divisions. Becoming a Personal Trainer will allow you to apply your experience of fitness and teamwork to your client’s training sessions
- Mindset – Military training is next level! You’re willing to push your body harder and further than your endurance levels thanks to your specialist training. A mindset like this is ideal for an elite Personal Trainer. Gaining your Level 4 Award in Strength and Conditioning will allow you to train professional athletes and sports teams to the same standard and endurance that you experienced during your time in the Forces
- Leadership Skills – You may have held a leadership position during your time serving. These skills will help you to motivate struggling clients and reward successful ones. Also having served in the military means your clients will often be more likely to try a little harder to succeed in your sessions, after all, who feels comfortable complaining about being a little tired in front of someone who has risked their life for their country!
- Experience – Gym members looking to hire a Personal Trainer want to know they are spending their hard-earned money on a trainer who will really make a difference in their lives. Knowing that you have served in the Forces proves to them that you have the knowledge, experience and dedication to training and fitness that they’ll be wanting to take inspiration from
- Training style – Some clients love a seriously tough workout! They’ll love the military style boot camps you’ll be able to put together
Ready to find out more about how The Training Room can help you towards your new career in the health and fitness industry
[See how The Training Room support ex-military personnel here]