John Clements served in The Corps of Royal Engineers, for 25-years, leaving as a Warrant Officer Class 2, in 2023. “Final role was Operations Warrant Officer for the 29 EOD & Search Group Support Unit. Typical day was ensuring deploying troops and equipment were correctly selected, trained and aligned against critical UK and Overseas deployments. Key skills from serving include leadership, adaptability, critical thinking, strategic analysis, problem solving and effective communication, to name a few.
During resettlement I attended a BuildForce National Insight Day where I met Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV). I attended 2 interviews when a work placement was arranged. The placement went well, I met the objectives, and a role was offered to me. The benefit of the work placement within BBV HS2 gave me a feeling of comfort whilst I adapted my thought process, skills and cultural awareness to the professional civilian working world. Key challenges I had were understanding some cultural traits civilian organisations have that effect daily business.
With regards to the new day role in Quality Assurance on the civil construction works on HS2, I lead, manage, and coordinate a quality inspection team. Typical day commences with team meetings to coordinate inspections against critical HS2 assets and related civil works. Analysis to identify and highlight trends to further root cause analysis and provide effective preventative measures. Strategy coordination to collaborate team objectives.
Advice I would you give to someone who is leaving the Armed Forces and seeking a new career in construction get involved in the BuildForce National Insight Days and also understand the organisation and the role. Consider doing a degree, it will open doors and triangulates your experiences into a broader vocabulary associated within the civilian sectors.
Three words to describe a career in construction is complex, interesting, and fulfilling. I would describe a veteran as professional, resilient, and determined.”