18th April 2016 

AIS instructor, Tony Pinkerton has a fascinating career history having worked in the parachute regiment helping to put an end to the conflict in Northern Ireland. Trained in psychological warfare, Tony worked with prisoners from the infamous Maze Prison and also on restorative justice programmes to change the mindsets of both IRA and Loyalist supporters during the troubles.

Tony has also been in the United Nations and whilst there met Yassa Arafat after experiencing a terrifying raid on Arafat’s compound in Gaza.

The peacekeeper returned to a quieter life in his native North East working for the Prison Service helping to rehabilitate prisoners. And now Tony is having enormous success getting unemployed people back into work on AIS’s new STEP employability programme.

Tony said;

“At AIS we don’t ‘sausage-make’ we see everyone as individuals and look at how we can turn skill-sets into dream careers. There are a lot of synergies between my past work and what I’m doing now. It’s mainly about changing mindsets. A key part of getting the long-term unemployed back into work is to fundamentally change the way they think. Many simply don’t believe they are capable of getting a job. We turn this around into positive thoughts and make them believe that anything is possible. Attendance rates of almost 100% and 1 in 2 back into work proves that this approach is working.”