27 January 2015
Injured marines given chance of a new career with Midas
Midas Construction has been transforming lives and helping injured marines readjust to civilian life by providing work placements on building sites in Devon and Cornwall.
Midas, one of the largest independent construction companies in the South West, has been working with The C Group - a Royal Marines charity inspiring businesses to support marines during their transition to civilian life, often when their military career had to end prematurely as the result of an injury.
As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting The C Group's work, Midas organised a long-term training placement at the site of the £5million new Genesis building being created for the Millfields Trust in Plymouth.
Injured marine Gavin Bolger was given vocational training during his work placement with the aim of both helping him readjust to civilian life, and opening up future career opportunities as a building site manager.
Tim Beattie, Senior Project Manager at Midas Construction, said: "Gavin was serving in Afghanistan in 2011 when he and several others were hit by an IED when on patrol, and he was left injured.
"Afterwards his life changed dramatically, and he found himself having to look for work in the civilian sector at the age of 28, not knowing if he was going to be discharged or not, and having lost a lot of confidence.
"Midas had already worked with The C Group to successfully support another injured Royal Marine through a similar process so we linked up with the charity once again, making a long term commitment to helping Gavin learn a new trade on the job, which offered the chance to give him a brand new career.
"As Gavin was on the marine recovery programme, he could take on an unpaid role with us with specific vocational training provided, as well as practical immersion in the construction environment."
Gavin was supported by Tim and by Midas Senior Project Manager Neil Baker and Site Manager Chris Hoskin at the Millfields development, which is due to open as an urban hub for the Stonehouse area of Plymouth early in 2015.
Gavin Bolger said: "The Midas team really supported me and pushed me when I needed an extra nudge in the right direction. They believed in my ability to take on a fresh challenge despite my injuries, and that had a profound effect on me.
"I went from being a fully trained Royal Marine at the top of my game to, as I saw it, being at the bottom of the pile; physical and mental injuries can leave you judging yourself harshly, and I was in a pretty bad place before I went to work at Midas.
"I'm extraordinarily grateful to Midas for understanding my situation and for the work placement opportunity, which has given me the chance to retrain as a construction site manager. It has also helped me regain confidence and lifted me out of my comfort zone.
"I still have a long way to go and it might take several years to reach my goal but I'm really keen to stay with Midas long-term, and hopefully once I am discharged from the marines, there will be the chance of a paid job with the company."
As well as providing Gavin's placement at the Millfields development, Midas has supported The C Group recently by running workshops and organising further vocational training opportunities on other building sites across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.
Tim added: "I carried out a workshop with members of the Halser Company and some marines from Bickleigh Barracks, along with other Midas managers. This was the first of its kind, introducing the marines to Midas as well as offering a general discussion about the construction industry.
"From this workshop, two candidates expressed interest in work placements on site, and we have organised ongoing training spots at the Mi-space development at Mount Wise in Plymouth, as well as a potential placement at the Exeter Sports Hall project, and another candidate is about to start at a project in the Taunton area.
"We are planning further talks to marines taking part in The C Group recovery programme team about the different roles available in a company like Midas, and health and safety issues."
"I can't recommend enough this opportunity to retrain whilst still on the marine Recovery Programme to anyone else in a similar situation to me," Gavin said. "We are all so grateful for Midas for its support with this initiative."
For more information about The C Group and its work, visit www.thecgroup.org
Image caption: L-R Gavin Bolger with Tim Beattie, Senior Project Manager at Midas Construction