Darren Kennedy

FK Group

From the Royal Tank Regiment to QHSE Advisor

Darren served 17 years in the Royal Tank Regiment between 1996 and 2013, in which his role as Close Reconnaissance Commander meant his typical day included spending hours dismantling guns and checking the equipment to ensure it was serviceable.

After spending a significant amount of time on the vehicle park servicing equipment, Darren explains how he made his transition to Civvy street. Whilst serving, Darren exercised leadership and management which are transferrable to his role now as a QSHE advisor, as well as developing the Army’s core values: loyalty, integrity and professionalism.

Darren believes communication is an integral skill as by delivering training sessions about safety and various toolbox talks, he was able to build his self- confidence and effectively voice his pitches to all age groups which helped him make the transition into civilian life.

Following his army career, Darren transitioned to the construction sector but it wasn’t all plain-sailing as he was made redundant 3 times in the space of 6 years which made his transition challenging. Fortunately, he has now secured sustainable employment as a QSHE Advisor for FK Group Ltd. Whilst the change was hard due to the unknown of a completely new career path, Darren says his family were incredibly supportive even during difficult days of job searching and this really helped his transition.

A typical day now for Darren involves working for a full building envelope contractor, meeting with site teams, ensuring legal obligations are being met and actively carries out site visits. He ensures the maintenance and safety of processes by checking installation methods, safety and daily pre-use checks of equipment. It is also Darren’s responsibility to feedback any issues to main contractors and assist the QHSE Director in general maintenance and management. He then translates his conclusions into a final report which is sent to the operational lead and managing director for viewing. The softer skills Darren worked on such as professionalism, listening and making yourself approachable hold value from his military career to his day job. His advice to others leaving the Armed Forces looking for a career in construction:

“Stick at it! It’s a great place to be; it’s dynamic, no two 2 days are the same as even the weather can change a work process and it’s that flexibility and problem solving approach that will see you well.”

And which 3 words would you use to describe a career in construction? “Challenging. Interesting. Inspiring.”