The Cage is offering a free business certification to defence force members

CURRENT and former Defence Force members and their families will be able to access a free business course, thanks to The Cage Youth Foundation.

BUSINESS QUALIFIED: Jamie Dixon, program co-ordinator Paul Bowers and Angie Bowers. Photo: Stacey Whitlock

BUSINESS QUALIFIED: Jamie Dixon, program co-ordinator Paul Bowers and Angie Bowers. Photo: Stacey Whitlock

The course will run over eight weeks, and each person will receive a Certificate III in Business on completion.

It is open to former Defence Force members, retired veterans and immediate family of current and former serving soldiers, including school-leavers with parents in the force.

Program co-ordinator Paul Bowers said the course aimed to give skills to people struggling to find or keep jobs.

“The qualification will provide a foundation of skills and knowledge to launch a small business or improve an existing one, with guest speakers from veteran-owned businesses and wrap-around case management for those that need the extra support,” he said.

“We would like to see participants reconnect with our local veteran community, feel empowered and motivated and find that tailored support they need to move forward.”

Mr Bowers said the course, which includes electives for small business planning and social media, would establish the business skills needed in the modern world.

“The course is up to date with our social media driven world and the participants will develop and construct their own personal small business plans to take away also,” he said.

“Existing small business owners may use this opportunity to refine their current business model.”

Mr Bowers has also set up a monthly defence family social, which brings veterans and their families together.

He said that support for veterans in the community was barely scratching the surface of their needs.

“The disadvantages and barriers our ex-service personnel face when transitioning from service life are often complex,” he said.

“They affect not only the individual, but their family members also.

“The everyday hurdles of running a family and maintaining a job can be embarrassingly overwhelming tasks when you’re debilitated by injuries, PTSD, family break downs, and the loss of pride and purpose that comes with wearing the uniform.

“The Cage encourages support from the community and organisations to assist participants with employment opportunities and support on completion of the course”

The business course will run over eight weeks at The Cage Community Centre, Redland Bay.

People wanting to take part should contact Paul Bowers on 0420 481 967, or at