An ex-soldier who has suffered years of problems with trying to find work made an unconventional bid for employment at Chester Business Park.
Former sergeant major Wayne Taylor, 46, stood at the entrance to the park – home to a whole host of businesses including MBNA and M&S Money – on Friday afternoon with a sign saying ‘job wanted’ in the hope of being noticed.
Mr Taylor joined the army at the age of 16 and served for 25 years, seeing action in both Gulf wars as well as touring Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and Northern Ireland with the 26th Regiment Royal Artillery. But since leaving the army in December 2011, he has struggled to find a job he feels matches his abilities and ambitions, despite applying for about 400 roles.
As he has not had a permanent job since 2015 – just temporary roles – he came up with the idea of spending Friday afternoon advertising his availability at Chester Business Park in the hope one of the many employers there would see him.
Mr Taylor said: “Things have been really difficult so I thought it was time to be proactive and try something different. I’ve had no response from so many applications, I just thought ‘go and give it a try and see what happens’. It might just work.”
Mr Taylor has had spells working as a carer and a prison custody officer but has not settled into a role since leaving the army. He does receive a military pension but, due to personal reasons, it is not for the full amount.
Mr Taylor would be ideally suited to a role in logistics and management, with warehouse management or an office role being among his preferred options. He has led hundreds of men and women in the army and, since leaving the military, has gained a Level 6 qualification in leadership and management. His annual salary in the army at the time he left was £45,000 but now the only offers he receives are for roles paying little more than the minimum wage.
Mr Taylor added: “The trouble with trying to get work if you’re ex-army is they look at us and think we were only there to kill people – that’s putting it bluntly but it’s how it is. It’s not easy.”
Mr Taylor lives in Garden Village, Wrexham, with his wife Laura, who works part-time in an office administration role. The pair met online and were married in 2014.
Mrs Taylor, 48, joined her husband at the business park on Friday, when representatives from a couple of firms came over to take down Mr Taylor’s details.
Mrs Taylor said: “When employers see his CV with ‘military’ on it, all they think is ‘thick squaddie’. But my husband led hundreds of men. He’s not a thick squaddie.
“He was offered £8 an hour to deliver mattresses. No disrespect to people who do that, but he is capable of so much more.”
Mr Taylor has been treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and has seen some of his former comrades take their own lives since leaving the army.
Mrs Taylor added: “They did not feel manly enough to keep their families. It’s heartbreaking.”
If anyone can help Wayne Taylor with his job hunt, he can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.