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Resettlement success

Mark N
Forces: Ex-Royal Navy

Mark N - Leading Chef

“Use the CTP to the maximum as they are veryhelpful; they helped me massively and made the transition so very easy!”

Background
Ex Royal Navy Leading Chef Mark N left the forces in early 2012 as part of the Strategic Defence Review redundancy programme, having served for almost 24 years as a Chef and Catering Accountant. During his career he gained extensive experience in the fields of cooking, food hygiene, ordering and stock control and also obtained civilian qualifications in Intermediate Food Hygiene and First Aid.

Resettlement
Mark kicked off his resettlement by attending a Career Transition Workshop (CTW) at RRC Plymouth, which he found “very helpful”; he then met with his personal Career Consultant to discuss his future career plans and the range of training that may be suitable. Mark already had plans to utilise his existing skills and become self-employed in the catering and hospitality industry, and so with this in mind he used his Graduated Resettlement Time (GRT) to complete a number of vocational training courses.

Mark took a 5 day Accounting in a Small Business course at the Resettlement Training Centre in Aldershot, which backed up his existing knowledge and provided information on accounting, tax and financial management. He also attended a free 1 day Business Start Up workshop at RRC Plymouth, which he says, “gave me a massive insight into setting up and running my own business and company”.

To cover the Health and Safety requirements for working in the catering industry, Mark completed an IOSH Managing Safely Qualification at RRC Catterick, which he says was vital for highlighting the different health and safety aspects to consider in small businesses, and also completed an external First Aid at Work course. Mark advises, “When you know what you want to do, research it and find out the courses that will benefit you and get them booked early to avoid disappointment.”

Outcome
With these qualifications firmly backing up his existing military experience, Mark felt well placed to pursue a career in the catering industry, and went on to purchase Action Snax Ltd, a static burger van business. Mark purchased the business from a contact he had known for some years through his father, and took on the role of both Managing Director and Chef. Mark’s role covers all aspects of running the business, including opening up and
preparing food each morning, and cooking throughout the day plus stock control and book keeping.

Mark initially faced obstacles in setting up Action Snax as a Limited company, and in sourcing suppliers for all his requirements, but the business is now thriving and Mark is well know along the A45/M45 for his distinctive display of military and Service charity flags alongside the cafe, plus his famous “Double Decker" colesterol feast! Mark looks forward to growing the business and has recently finished an extensive refit of the cafe, which now includes inside seating; he is also now in a position to employ a part-time member of staff. Mark’s long term goal is to expand upon his existing success and build up a corporate hospitality business.

When asked what advice he would give to others leaving the forces, Mark says, “Use the CTP to the maximum as they are veryhelpful; they helped me massively and made the transition so very easy!”

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