Angus Council is an ardent supporter of our Armed Services and a determined advocate for the employment and support of veterans, reservists, partners and spouses and Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers.
As holders of an Armed Service Silver Employer Award with a proud commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, we actively support the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. We are very proud to call those veterans, reservists, partners and spouses and Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers among us - our colleagues.
As a Forces Friendly employer, we also encourage other local employers to adopt Forces friendly policies and champion the transferable skills and great benefits that these important members of staff can bring to any organisation.
John served with the Royal Corps of Signals for more than 20 years, as an electrician, senior instructor and training officer. Now with Angus Council, he has fulfilled important roles in our Health and Safety, and Risk, Resilience and Safety teams.
He said: “I served with the Royal Corps of Signals for 23 years. During that time I held many positions in rank and trade finishing as a Warrant Officer. I learned many skills which were specific to my role, however, some of those skills can be used in other roles in both work and personal life.
“During my career in the military I learned how to identify hazards, control risks, deliver training, and manage people through leadership. I learned values and standards which still hold true to my outlook on life now and can be easily transitioned in everything I do.
“In particular integrity; everyone needs honesty and trust; not only in regards to responsibility, but also to be trusted to see a job through and do it well.
“I enhanced my learning and committed to using my enhanced learning credits (ELC’s) and other credits to complete a master of science in risk, crisis and disaster management and a NEBOSH general certificate. I also completed several other qualifications to include a CMI Level 5 diploma in leadership and management.
“The diversity of locations and people I met during my career was vast. This again has helped me to transition. I get along with others and have seen many situations where I can provide comfort, understanding and compassion with people to help them get through the rough and the smooth. As a manager, and adviser this is extremely helpful.”
John acknowledges that moving from a career in the armed services to “civvy street” is a challenge - one that requires commitment and determination, but which can also be greatly rewarding.
He said: “Transitioning from the military is difficult. You really need to be open and honest and have good people around you. One of the most difficult parts is not having others around you who have shared the same experiences. In reality you need to start again. However the building blocks which you have learned in the forces help you to transition if you use them and adapt.
“Leadership, attention to detail, setting standards, values, effective communication, planning, drive and commitment.
“You really need to make the effort yourself and before leaving the forces. By using the funding made available, you can prepare yourself for this transition. With my MSc and diploma, I was able to apply for a role within local authority as a professional safety adviser, as I held the academic qualifications which would allow me to join the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) as a Graduate member (GradIOSH).
“My application was accepted as the best one as I used the STAR method to answer all my questions exactly.
“STAR method is the ‘Situation’ I was in, the ‘Task’ to be undertaken, the ‘Actions’ I took to complete that task, and the ‘Results’ of my actions.
“I found that by relating previous situations in the military to the questions being asked was easy – Safety, in particular, as this surrounds us in daily life as a soldier. The daily planning and preparation is simply put as risk assessment and controlling risk. We all mange this daily as soldiers. My efforts to enhance my qualifications before leaving the forces ensured that I met the essential criteria to be selected for job interview.”
John has now been with Angus Council for six years and is happy to say that he has settled in nicely – assisted to some degree by Angus Council’s agile working arrangements.
He said: “I was extremely fortunate in using my final ELC towards completion of an NVQ in occupational health and safety practice. I also completed my professional membership as a Chartered Member of IOSH (CMIOSH,) which is held as the highest membership as a safety professional. In July last year, I successfully applied for a senior position in Risk, Resilience and Safety.
“I am extremely proud of myself and hope that others are inspired to do the same. Angus Council has been a fantastic employer and has flexibly supported me in everything I do in my role and to ensure that my work-life balance is equal.
Provost of Angus Council Ronnie Proctor is himself a veteran, who served for 40 years and is heavily involved in Veteran’s matters agrees wholeheartedly with John’s comments and has no doubts as to the mutual benefits of the Council being a Force’s Friendly Employer.
He said: “John is one of many success stories where people – whether they be veterans, reservists, or family members of active service people, or indeed forces’ volunteers, provide an invaluable service to us as a local authority and, more important still, to our communities.
“They bring with them a wealth of experience, skills and knowledge that contributes enormously to making Angus a great place to live, work and visit.
“We, as a council, are all the richer, in being able to work alongside them as colleagues.”
There is more information for veterans and about veterans on the dedicated pages of our website.