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GET SWINDON WORKING: Army skills apply to business world
7:50pm Wednesday 3rd July 2013 in News
EX-MILITARY personnel are being targeted by Nationwide as prospective employees under a scheme designed to take advantage of the unique skills they have acquired in service.
The building society is looking to take advantage of the project management and complex decision-making experience these former military staff have.
The scheme has been rolled out in Swindon and its surrounding communities because of the high concentration of military units in the area, and is expected to prove hugely popular in the coming years under long-term Government plans to cut back the size of the regular Army from 102,000 to 82,000.
The scheme is managed by Claire Jones, who also served in the Army.
She said: “We don’t see this simply as giving someone a job. We recognise the skills of those with a military background. The military can give you an edge in business that otherwise could take years to develop.
“Project management becomes almost second nature. Tough decisions can be taken under pressure, while loyalty and trust are driving forces behind getting the job done on time.
“If more companies looked to employ ex-servicemen and women, then not only would it go some way to addressing unemployment, but firms would benefit from the experience that these people bring with them.”
Richard Hendrickse, 42, had served in the Army for 20 years before being employed by Nationwide, where he now works within the business transformation team.
While serving in the Army, Mr Hendrickse used Army schemes to gain a PGCE teaching qualification and an Open University Masters in business administration.
Mr Hendrickse was first drawn to Nationwide through a social networking site where the company advertised its interest in those with a military background.
“Nationwide, like the Army, is a very value-driven organisation. For me, that reduced some of the difficulties there might have been.
“At the end of the day, management is all about people and leadership is a key transferable skill. Having been in the military for 20 years, you get a lot of opportunities to develop your leadership skills, which is invaluable as part of my role in helping pull different people and teams together in the same direction.”
Dozens of people have applied to the project, which is supported by veterans charity Officer’s Association. The mutual say the project does not have a closing period and will go on to become standard practice in its employment processes.
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