WANTED: Bomb dis­posal work­ers (no ex­pe­ri­ence nec­es­sary)

Diana’s char­ity seeks dar­ing staff to clear land­mines in Mid­dle East

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Comment - By Kather­ine Suther­land

IT is def­i­nitely not a job for the faint-hearted.

But the Scot­tish char­ity fa­mously backed by Princess Diana is re­cruit­ing staff to help clear land­mines.

The Halo Trust is look­ing for brave ‘in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tions’ work­ers for mis­sions in war zones around the world.

Sur­pris­ingly, no pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence is re­quired.

The char­ity, based in Dum­friesshire, was a favoured cause of the late Princess of Wales.

Prince Harry is cur­rently a pa­tron of the char­ity and Hol­ly­wood star An­gelina Jolie was pre­vi­ously a trustee.

The lat­est job ad­vert reads: ‘You will learn field skills in­clud­ing mine clear­ance, ord­nance dis­posal, mine­field sur­vey and map­ping and other skills such as lo­gis­tics, se­cu­rity, and qual­ity man­age­ment.

‘Your train­ing will pre­pare you to man­age op­er­a­tions within one of our pro­grammes, where you could be lead­ing 250 to 1,000 lo­cal em­ploy­ees.’

Re­quire­ments in­clude ‘the abil­ity to cope with phys­i­cally de­mand­ing con­di­tions – climb­ing moun­tain tracks and work­ing un­der trop­i­cal sun for hours on end’.

New re­cruits can ex­pect to start at the end of the sum­mer. At around the same time, the char­ity is plan­ning a hugely sym­bolic land­mine clear­ance at the site where Je­sus is said to have been bap­tised, on the River Jor­dan, a no-go zone since mines were laid dur­ing the third Is­raeli-Arab war in 1967. Po­ten­tial re­cruits will be in­vited to se­lec­tion days at the Duke of Buc­cleuch’s Drum­lan­rig cas­tle, near Halo’s HQ at Car­ronfoot. Around eight peo­ple will be re­cruited af­ter in­ter­views and two days of train­ing ex­er­cises. The salary has not been re­vealed and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the char­ity said only that ap­pli­cants should be mo­ti­vated by the char­ity’s ideals. Halo’s HR di­rec­tor, Claire Wheat­ley, said: ‘We are look­ing for a wide va­ri­ety of peo­ple. We pro­vide a full train­ing pack­age, which lasts about six to eight months, so there’s no ex­pe­ri­ence re­quired in land­mine clear­ance or ord­nance dis­posal.’

The se­lec­tion event will ex­am­ine lead­er­ship abil­ity and team­work and Miss Wheat­ley said: ‘One task is a ‘cas-evac’, where they come across a ca­su­alty and aban­doned ve­hi­cle and they must work as a group to de­cide how to man­age the sit­u­a­tion and get the ca­su­alty to safety.’

Asked if any pre­vi­ous can­di­dates had been killed on the job, she said: ‘I don’t have all of the de­tails, but there will be ca­su­al­ties. Peo­ple need to ap­pre­ci­ate that they are pos­si­bly go­ing out to more dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ments than work­ing in the UK.

‘We work in coun­tries like Afghanista­n and So­ma­lia where there is a more re­stric­tive se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment.

‘In some ar­eas there could pos­si­bly be cur­fews and staff will pos­si­bly work and live in com­pounds. Some of the com­pounds could be guarded. There’s in-depth se­cu­rity train­ing as part of the pack­age.’

Those in­ter­ested can ap­ply via Halo’s web­site by June 23.

‘There will be ca­su­al­ties’

SAV­ING LIFE AND LIMB: A Halo worker, left; how the job ad might look, cen­tre; and work­ing in Afghanista­n Princess Diana, pic­tured in Angola in 1997, was a high-pro­file backer of Halo

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