College courses will aid forces

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A COLLEGE has become the first organisation in the borough to sign a new corporate agreement to support the armed forces.

Wigan and Leigh College signed the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant in partnership with Wigan Council.

Now other organisations are being encouraged to follow their lead and sign a covenant pledging support to the armed forces.

The covenant will see the college reach out to veterans in the borough and help them develop new skills. College courses will be targeted at ex-service personnel so they can develop the appropriate skills to develop new careers. Principal Michael Sheehan said: “We see this as a really positive initiative to help and support a large number of people in the borough.

“We are proud to be the first organisation in the borough to be able to support this venture and we look forward to developing a productive relationship with colleagues across the borough and make sure it is a success.”

Mr Sheehan signed the covenant in the presence of the Mayor of Wigan Borough Councillor Phyll Cullen and the ceremony was attended by members of Wigan’s Royal British Legion and the Wigan Sea Cadets.

British Legion branch president Brian Fenton and vice-president John Magee will be among the first veterans to benefit from the covenant partnership when they receive IT training. This will help them volunteer at Wigan’s new £500,000 armed forces hub.

The hub, which is currently in the planning stage, will be a centre of excellence to give specialist support to the 22,000 veterans and their families currently living in Wigan Borough along with reservists and serving personnel.

Linda Fisher, Wigan Council’s armed forces lead officer, said: “Organisations can only benefit from recognising the value serving military personnel and veterans can bring. We would encourage other businesses and organisations in the borough interested in supporting the armed forces to contact the council and sign up to the covenant.”

For more information on the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant contact: L.Fisher@wigan.gov.uk