Fraser Millar Good News Story

Fraser Millar is one of the PRU’s youngest soldier’s and had only been in the Army a short time when he was injured at aged 18.  He tragically lost his right arm in a serious road traffic accident and had to readjust to both the loss of his arm and the full military career that he thought he would have. 

Fraser’s CV was minimal as he had joined his infantry unit straight from school and had no previous experience of employment.  Prior to Fraser’s referral to RCS he had applied for a portal opportunity as a fitness instructor with the training room, he successfully completed this course and it initially appeared that this was the area of employment that he was interested in.

Fraser first met with his specialist employment consultant (SEC) in April 2014 and was keen to pursue a career in the sports industry.  A work attachment was set up with Scottish Disability Sport which would offer Fraser an opportunity to get involved with individuals and coaches at all levels.  Unfortunately Fraser only lasted three days on the attachment as he felt it wasn’t a career he now wanted to pursue.

SEC then encouraged Fraser to attend the CTP job fair in Perth where he met a representative from Jaguar land rover who had encouraged him to attend a manager’s course costing £4000, however when SEC and PRO looked into the course it was aimed at experienced managers who were already in the automobile industry. Fraser agreed that this would not be an appropriate course for him to attend.   SEC contacted Mission Motorsport for any opportunities that they may have with Jaguar Landrover.  Unfortunately there were no local opportunities for Fraser in this industry so again his PRO; SEC looked at other things that might be of interest to him.

Fraser then came up with the idea of working with drug detection dogs however in order for him to carry out a course in this field he would actually have to purchase the dog and work with it on the course.  Fraser’s PRO had a few concerns about the cost of the course and whether Fraser would actually be able to carry out the training given his disability.  Rather than waste money on a course to then find out he was unable to cope physically with the dog SEC arranged for Fraser to go down to the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray.  Here he could work with the dogs and see if he could physically handle them.  The unit gave extremely positive feedback as Fraser had controlled the dogs with ease and the only adjustment required was a different training lead that went round his thigh rather than hand.  This gave the green light for Fraser’s PRO to apply to the Soldier’s Charity for funding for the course.

Fraser successfully completed the course and required realistic opportunities to practice with the dog this were venues where there were large crowds of people.  SEC contacted various football grounds, entertainment venues, G4S, and Musselburgh racecourse to see if Fraser could take his dog to a live event.  Musselburgh racecourse kindly allowed Fraser to attend one of their race days which proved a great success as the dog was active in his detection and Fraser also made some great contacts with the police.   SEC has several other avenues that she is exploring which will allow Fraser varying experiences to train with the dog.  One of them is the MOD police unit confirming that Fraser can train with them at their drug training unit.

However before Fraser can earn a wage with his dog he is required to obtain his SIA license which will allow him into licensed premises.  The course he requires is the Door Supervisor’s course however due to his disability he is unable to complete the mandatory restraint section.  SEC contacted numerous SIA providers who all confirmed that they would be unable to assist.  SEC then identified that Fraser could attend the guarding course which would provide him with the SIA license required to allow him into licensed premises, however the problem was that none of the local providers ran this course as it was incorporated into the Door Supervision course.

SEC spent numerous hours searching for a course provider that would be able to carry out the training even ringing the SIA direct who informed SEC to quote the Disability Act to training providers.  SEC then contacted a colleague from Cura Scotland who had offered free SIA training previously to WIS SL’s.   SEC explained the situation and asked for advice as she had exhausted every avenue.  The staff at Cura was extremely empathetic as the trainers are all veterans and they understood the importance of securing the course.  They offered a solution in that Fraser could attend the initial day of the Door Supervisor’s Course, he would then work on a one to one basis with Gavin one of the trainers who would tailor the course for Fraser so that he covered all modules required in order for him to pass the exams and obtain his SIA license.  This would be done totally free of charge and the company would also pay for Fraser’s exam fees.  SEC was overwhelmed by the generosity of the company and extremely grateful for resolving the issue.  Fraser is due to carry out this training.

SEC will continue to support Fraser identifying further opportunities for him to work with his dog so that when he leaves the Army in August this year he will have completed his SIA, gained experience in live situations and venues and have a healthy portfolio of contacts that he can call upon to gain paid employment.