Byline: SION BARRY
A FORMER Army major from Rhondda is experiencing commercial success with a venture that is helping former Armed Services personnel find employment.
Alun Davies from the Rhondda, served 42 years in the Royal Welch Fusiliers before retiring in 2008.
He then spotted a gap in the market for a firm to provide training services to help ex-military personnel prepare for working life outside the Armed Forces.
With help from business support agency Venture Wales, Major Davies, 62, set up Gotcha International Academy in February last year.
In its first year the Pontyclunbased academy, which is thought to be the only training provider of its kind in the UK specialising in training for former Armed Forces personnel, generated a turnover of almost pounds 250,00 (2009/10), which it hopes to double to pounds 500,000 by 2012.
Gotcha International Academy, which employs three people, has helped train over 300 former Armed Forces personnel via its UK-wide network of 10 trainers that can provide training in hundreds of different courses.
The company works closely with Careers Wales to make jobseekers aware of funding and training available to them through Welsh Assembly Government-funded schemes such as JobMatch and ReAct.
Some of the many courses it offers includes training for close protection or security operations, door supervision, CCTV operating and first aid as well as various academic and vocational training in anything from plumbing and electrics through to health and safety, marketing and business management.
It also offers assistance through the qualifications awarding body Edexcel to help ex-Forces personnel update their CVs, complete job applic-ation forms and prepare for job interviews.
Mr Davies, a former instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, said: "It can be very difficult for ex-military people to adjust to civilian life and find new employment. …