Are you a service-leaver searching for ways to enhance your future career? If so, you should take a look at the ECLAS scheme.

What is ECLAS?

The ECLAS is designed to provide assistance to MOD (Ministry of Defense) service personnel so as to enable them to reach their full potential after leaving the Forces. This scheme works by providing support in the form of a single upfront payment for up to three years. It’s important to note that ELC funding is only available for pursuit of higher level learning.

It’s critical for the courses to be delivered by an Approved Learning Provider and eventually result in the award of a nationally-recognised qualification at Level three or above on the National Qualifications Framework (England, Northern Ireland and Wales). It’s also applicable to courses that result in a nationally recognised qualification at Level six or above on the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF).

How Does It Work — Eligibility and Entitlements

It’s important to note that there are several stages in the ELC process. You can find full information in Joint Service Publications (JSP) 822.

For starters, it’s recommended for you to be registered to become a Scheme Member and also to have sufficient amount of service prior to submitting a claim.

Candidates who are still serving in the Military are required to obtain a Claim Authorisation Note (CAN) from their education staff or line manager. Your Local Education Staff will be able to check your entitlement for you. Also, you can contact ELCAS to make appropriate checks if you’re no longer in the Force.

Be sure to take a look at Service Personnel Claiming ELC or Service Leaver Claiming ELC to get a better idea of how to make your claim.

The final stage has to do with the completion of Course Evaluation through the Member’s Area. It’s important to note that you’re not eligible to process further claims until the evaluation has been completed.

How Do I Claim My ELCAS Funding?

It’s important to identify a provider offering ELCAS funded courses. A reputable provider and popular choice is Study Active. You can get in touch with one of their resident ELCAS advisors by calling Study Active on 0345 017 8733 or emailing via resettlement@studyactive.co.uk.  The moment you reach out to an ELCAS provider, they will ensure that you’re provided with all the relevant course information as well as a breakdown of dates, availability, and venues. This will provide you with all the help you need to fill out the ELC claim form (for those who qualify for the scheme).

You should know that the claim needs to be made a minimum of 25 working days prior to your course start date or registration date. It should include full and accurate information about their course you’re looking to study or undertake.

Afterwards, your claim will be processed and once approved a CAN (Claim Authorisation Note) will be forwarded to you. Once you receive the CAN form, you will need to forward it by email to your ELCAS provider and you will then proceed to pay your 20% contribution for the course.

Once you’ve booked on your chosen course, you’ll receive confirmation as well as all course materials.

Why Becoming a Personal Trainer is a Good Career Choice for ex-military

  • As a service-leaver, it’s pretty obvious that your fitness level is already high, as such, becoming a personal trainer is sure to be an excellent career choice. For instance, there’s a good chance that your military bases had good training facilities and pretty decent weight rooms that gave you the opportunity to keep fit during your years of service.
  • Veterans also have training and experiences from their time of service which leaves them with a refined set of traits that gives them the chance to be successful in any market. Since you’ve probably spent years in the military completing missions regardless of the harsh challenges or situations, your level of self-discipline is sure to be excellent. Moreover, working with clients is sure to be a walk in the park as there’s a good chance that you’ve dealt with whiners and complainers during your time serving in the armed forces.
  • Personal training also gives you a lot of flexibility — you get to work with clients one-on-one and choose your working time. Moreover, the easiness of self-employment and job satisfaction can be experienced, and that’s huge. The best part? You’re unlikely to get bored quickly since personal training is not a 9 to 5 job. It’s also good to point out that successful personal trainers earn very decent salaries which happen to be higher than what you get from a regular job.

What are the Employment Opportunities After the Course?

  • Self-employed

It’s good to know that becoming a personal trainer gives you the opportunity to become your own boss. You can choose to work with clients one-on-one or hold group training classes. As long as you put in time and dedication into the job, you can be sure of enjoying great financial rewards and full job satisfaction.

  • Employed Through Health Club Chain

As a personal trainer, you may also choose to work in an established health club to get a feel of how it feels to work with different type of clients and also get easy access to paying clients. The good thing is, you can also build a good relationship with customers and get them to patronize your services in outdoor locations.

The best part? You can choose to do both! Work in the fitness establishment and also train clients in outdoor locations (as a self-employed PT) — you’ll get to double your earnings and feel great while you’re at it.

What Courses Should You Focus On?

It’s an excellent idea to qualify yourself in different Level 3 disciplines since a significant part of your course bundle is covered by ECLAS. It’s no longer the case that Personal Trainers stop at Level 3 PT, instead you’ll  have more options by “bolting on” additional courses such as Level 3 Exercise Referral. “Bolt on” Level 3 qualifications available allow you to specialise in GP Referral and Pre Post Natal Exercise to name a couple. It’s also good to point out that there are providers that offer additional CPD courses which give you the chance to gain CPD Certificates in topics like Kettlebells, Rig Training or Suspension Training. Just be sure to talk with providers so you can get a better idea of their offerings before signing up.