04 Jan How can Ex-Forces help my engineering business?
You may have heard us and others talking about the value that ex-Forces candidates bring to organisations. Their unique experience and extensive training combine with discipline, focus on delivery and excellent communication to provide a fantastic potential employee. But how can this translate to ex-Forces in engineering?
There is a lot of cross-over between those who’ve spent time in the Forces and the engineering sectors. Teamwork, time-pressure, working with multiple agencies whilst trying to achieve the same end goal, as well as working in fast-paced, evolving environments are common to both parties. But in addition, some specific trades in the Armed Forces, lend themselves to a 2nd career in engineering.
The self-sufficient nature of the military and the types of environments that they operate in require its engineers to be highly trained, fully competent, adaptable and innovative. On operations and in hostile, austere environments, the Armed Forces relies on its technical mechanical and electrical engineers. They maintain and repair technical equipment from vehicles, aircraft, naval vessels, weapon and communications systems. With fragile supply chains, ex-Forces engineers are creative & innovative with materials, knowledge & technical skills to enable operations.
Whilst working on non-operational projects, they will work with civilian agencies and contractors, gaining a broad exposure to both sets of working practices. As a result, those who have served within a technical engineering function, can have many trade skills of value. For example:
- A vehicle mechanic ensures that the Armed Forces range of land based vehicles work at maximum capacity or could be involved in the direct recovery of these complex, expensive and high tech vehicles.
- An electronics technician works to ensure that electrics, communications & weapons systems, radar & lasers are operating effectively & are fixed when/if they fail.
- In avionics, they will have been responsible for the operability of complex navigation, communication & flight controls, as well as some weapons systems for fixed wing & rotary aircraft as well as UAVs.
- A marine engineer could have worked on sophisticated & complex systems of a submarine to a brand new aircraft carrier.
One of the advantages of the military is the variety of projects, environments and roles that people work in. Technicians often deal with layers of complexity, balancing organisational processes, legal regulation and operational priorities finely. Due to the hazardous environments they work in, management of occupational health and safety and the management of safety critical systems are key skills. An ex-Forces candidate could bring all that to your organisation, not just technical experience.
Throughout their career, they will have received extensive training in their specific trade. They will be highly trained in people management and development and team leadership. Moreover, they will have developed excellent project, stakeholder and contract management skills.
Depending on seniority, this training and experience could range from Level 3 Apprenticeship in Engineering Manufacturing to Masters degree level qualifications in Engineering. The experience can also be recognised by the Society of Engineers, IMechE and IET with associate up to full Chartered membership, being awarded. This can be combined with Prince 2 or APM certifications because of the experience gained.
If this sounds like it could have potential for your business, get in touch with us today. See how our pipeline of exceptionally talented ex-Forces engineering candidates could create and maintain business for you.