Securing a senior position for Steven Lawton at a Midlands automotive firm is the first of many former armed forces personnel we aim to help return to civvy street.
Helping Steven get the job as senior maintenance manager at Coventry-based King Automotive Systems is doubly rewarding as not only did he find employment just two days after leaving the forces but we managed to secure him a salary that was far higher than the jobs he had been applying for.
Steven, a former Warrant Officer Class One, from Stone, Staffordshire, had served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for 22 years, experience which was crucial to him getting his new job.
The regional director of Forces Recruitment, Stewart Stirling, who himself served in the Royal Logistics Corps for 25 years, said securing the job showed how we could smooth the transition to civilian life for ex-armed services personnel.
Recruitment experts predict that defence cutbacks could mean a near doubling of the number of military personnel looking for new jobs in 2011 to an estimated 45,000 across the UK.
“It was great to help Steven move out of a career in the army directly in to a new job with a fantastic company like King Automotive,” said Stewart Stirling. The former Warrant Officer Class Two, who served in the first Iraq War in 1990, retired from the army and set up the branch of the Forces Recruitment with his wife Lisa, who also served for five years in the Royal Logistics Corps.
“With our experience of the army we were able to recognise the skills that Steven had and were able to emphasise them to King Automotive,” said the 46-year-old father-of-two.
“We were actually able to get Steven a more senior job with a higher salary than the vacancy he had applied for,” he added.
Steven Lawton, 40, said: “Forces Recruitment Services contacted me in the first place and have been brilliant providing support, making sure I was fully prepared for interviews, which was crucial in helping me get the job.
The married father-of-four provided maintenance support for all equipment for the 5th division of the British army based in Shrewsbury. He joined the army aged 16 and has previously been based in Germany, Northern Ireland and Cyprus.
His new job at King Automotive involves overseeing all of the onsite maintenance and organising training for the precision engineering firm.
“It was a worry knowing I would be leaving the army which is the only job I’ve had since leaving school. But with the help of Forces Recruitment Services I was able to move in to the job as senior maintenance manager within two days of leaving the army, which was great.”
Cheryl Swann, personnel manager at King Automotive, said: “Forces Recruitment Services provides a very thorough service.
“We were already aware that former armed forces personnel can be very well qualified but the agency has opened our eyes that bit more to the qualities people from the services can offer.
“We were really after somebody with a disciplined mind which is exactly what Steve was able to provide, we’re very pleased to find him.”
At Forces Recruitment Services we now hope to help military personnel across the West Midlands, from all three services and all ranks, to return to civilian employment.
Stewart Stirling added: “Getting a job after leaving the services can be the biggest battle for armed services personnel.
“Many have spent their entire careers in the armed services and have very little experience of interviews or CV writing and they’re used to a very structured way of life and civilian life isn’t like that. But they also have a great many desirable attributes like leadership skills, discipline, great man-management and commitment.
“We help service personnel overcome the transition back to civilian life. We are a bridge between them and employers helping them understand each other so they can get the best from each other.”