Philip Bradley

HS2 BBV

From the Royal Engineers to Stores Manager

Philip served 24.5 years in the Royal Engineers between 1995- 2020, completing his service as SSgt.

His role initially was as an Armoured Engineer before taking on the role as a Military Engineer Logistics Specialist where he was promoted to LCpl. As most of his career was spent in his second role, Philip spent most of his time working in the military supply chain looking after everything from batteries to bridges, in the UK, overseas and on Operations. In his last 6 years of his career, he served with 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer group where he was the lead Logistics Specialist within the Main Design Authority (MDA) on the Royal Engineers largest Infrastructure construction project. The £14m Project ANEMOI was the construction of 3 new accommodation blocks on the three remote radar heads in the Falklands.

A typical day for Philip in his last military role involved mainly stakeholder engagement, working with the MDA to determine project materials, engaging with industry to locate the relevant items, and coordinating technical meetings. Philip also worked with the Military Construction Force to identify items urgently required, engaging with all parts of the MOD supply chain (Army, RAF, Navy, and civilian movers) to deliver items to the Falklands adheringvto tight deadlines. A further significant daily activity was briefing Supply Chain matters and statistics up the chain of command, from the OC up to the Head of DIO and the Chief Royal Engineer.

Philip’s resettlement was initially challenging as he knew after attending a few of BuildForce’s presentations he wanted to enter the construction sector but there were limited suitable roles within a commutable distance. This resulted in Philip concentrating on other roles closer to home of which he had a few offers in place but then the pandemic struck and the offers were retracted and he was back to square one. Through the support of BuildForce, a local construction role was offered just as he was about to leave. Unfortunately, through no fault of Philip’s, this role did not work out, but luckily for him Buildforce is not a ‘fire and forget’ programme and they re-engaged and further supported Philip’s current role on HS2 with joint venture Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV).

Philip’s current role is Stores Manager, working with all the stores across 90KM to ensure all are following the correct processes; the stores are working to their best ability and engaging with site works managers to ensure improvements work, advising of any changes or training required.

The key skills Philip acquired during his military career which he now uses daily are his soft skills; such as communication, stakeholder engagement and even the ability to turn up for meetings in the true military fashion, 5 minutes early, helps to set the tone of and gets noticed.

Philip started planning to leave the military 5 years before his exit date by using all available routes to obtain funding to gain qualifications such as a CILT diploma and a Level 7 CMI award in Strategic Management which helped free up his resettlement for other qualifications. Philip’s main top tips for those leaving the military are the following which really made a difference for him:

  • Planning: Create a plan for your resettlement as early as possible and get the buy-in from the chain of command, this will ease the transition and smooth out any possible issues.
  • Networking: This is not just waiting to the last 6 months then connecting with people on LinkedIn but find conferences that could benefit a future career, such as a great networking event – BuildForce provide regular Armed Forces insight days and also fortnightly virtual career chats, check out their events page on their website.
  • Mindset: Philip has seen many colleagues flat out days before they leave which leaves hardly any time for preparation for leaving the forces. Make sure you take time in your resettlement for you!
  • Membership: Some institutions have great offers for serving personnel such as CILT membership, but these disappear once you have left service so take advantage whilst you can.
  • Engage early with BuildForce as they offer a wraparound support service including mentoring, placements and job opportunities and will further connect you to industry.

Finally, 3 words to describe the construction sector: “Challenging, innovative, enriching.”