A former sergeant major has been flooded with messages from prospective employers since he stood at a busy roundabout with a ‘Job Wanted’ placard.
Wayne Taylor signed up for the army aged just 16 and served for 25 years in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and Northern Ireland, as well as both Gulf wars.
The 46-year-old’s salary was £45,000 when he left the 26th Regiment Royal Artillery in December 2011, but all he can find is minimum wage jobs.
Frustrated over his 400 failed job applications, he resorted to drastic measures and stood at the entrance to Chester Business Park with a placard saying ‘Job wanted. Educated to degree level. Speak to me please’.
And now he says he feels ‘positive’ about getting work as a result, with 70 parties showing an interest in him.
Wayne Taylor (pictured) resorted to drastic measures after failing to get 400 jobs he applied for. The 46-year-old stood outside the entrance to Chester Business Park with a sign reading ‘Job wanted. Educated to degree level. Speak to me please’ in a bid to get an offer
Among the messages was one from a former Army officer now working at Barclays Bank, inviting him for an interview to see if there’s a role that would suit him.
Mr Taylor says he’s had 60 or 70 messages by email or via LinkedIn, the business networking service.
He said: ‘My computer’s gone into meltdown with all the traffic. Most have been asking me to get in touch. I’ve had a lot of messages and I need to work through them.
‘Barclays want me to come in for an interview so they can see if there’s a role I would be suited to. I called back within a couple of minutes and left a message.’
‘The email came from a former warrant officer, Class 1, that’s a rank above me. He said he was speaking to the head of operations at Knutsford.’
Since he was spotted with his placard outside a roundabout on Friday (22 Sept) he’s attracted widespread news coverage.
‘I feel positive that something will come of it now,’ he said.
‘I stood at the roundabout in the hope that somebody would stop and say they may have a role for me.
‘Since then it’s all been happening and it’s very likely going to work for me.’
‘The local paper covered it, it’s been in national papers, I’ve done radio interviews this morning and I’ve got TV and radio interviews this afternoon.
‘I have done something different by standing at the roundabout, and I wasn’t expecting it to go the way it has.
‘A lot of other servicemen and women are in the same boat as me. Employers need to see beyond bits of paper and see that we have a set of skills.’
Mr Taylor is pictured during his time serving with the 26th Regiment Royal Artillery
He stood at the entrance to Chester Business Park with a placard that read: ‘Job Wanted. Educated to degree level. Speak to me please.’
Mr Taylor, of Garden Village, Wrexham, has had brief stints working as a carer and a prison custody officer, but has not settled into a permanent position since leaving the army.
He said: ‘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.
‘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.’
His wife Laura, who he met via the forcepenpals website, 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.
Mr Taylor has been offered jobs in the past, but has not found anything that he believes matches his abilities and skill set.
He says he would be ideally suited to a role in logistics or management, with warehouse management or an office role being among his preferred options.
Mr Taylor, of Wrexham, was paid £45,000 after 25 years in the army. He served in both Gulf wars and in Afghanistan and Kosovo
After leading hundreds of men during his time in the army, he has since gained a Level 6 qualification in leadership and management.
Mr and Mrs Taylor, 48, got married in 2014 after meeting online.
She joined her husband by the roundabout near the business park on Friday, where he was approached by representatives from a few firms.
She said: ‘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, Laura said.
She added: ‘They did not feel manly enough to keep their families. It’s heartbreaking.’