Date: Friday June 24, 2016 at 2:29pm
Having a military background can often be viewed by employers as a negative. But that is not the case for Ainscough Crane Hire which actively recruits from this pool of talent.
On the eve of National Armed Forces Day(Saturday 25th June) we talk to Amanda Hesketh, resourcing and retention manager, to find out why former servicemen and women are such a prized asset for the business.
“One of the many issues facing service personnel when they leave the forces is what they are going to do next.” Explains Amanda.
“We currently have around 230 employees who have served in the forces in a whole range of roles. We find it to be a good source of new staff and we recruit from all parts of the forces into a wide variety of roles within the company. As a rule, the recruits are well motivated and have a strong work ethic. They understand that they are part of a team, understand communication and are decisive. Those attributes are really invaluable to us and that background is a superb asset to the business.
“We work with the British Forces Resettlement Service to find candidates to fulfil a whole; range of roles and we are never disappointed with the quality of candidate they provide.
”One former serviceman now working with Ainscough is Pat Kiernan 45 from Oldham, Greater Manchester. Pat spent 26 years in the forces latterly as part of the Royal Logistics Corps and is now the transport support and development manager based in the Leyland depot. “My military career took me around the world and I wouldn’t change any of it.” Explains Pat.
“I met Ainscough at a recruitment fair where they were exhibiting. They stood out as they showed interest in me and who I was, the way these things usually go is that you leave your CV and you never hear anything back. With Ainscough I did and two weeks later I’d been interviewed and had been offered a role. It was quite amazing.
“It was the break I needed to change my career and I’ve had no regrets in the two years I’ve been here.
“Many former forces personnel make the mistake of assuming they know the commercial world and know what roles are available to them. I would never have thought crane hire would be a place for me to establish myself but everything I did in the logistics corps is directly transferable to Ainscough.
“Yes, I have been on a steep learning curve but listening, asking questions and working together as a tight unit are as important here as they are in the forces. I work with a superb team here and I only wish I could have made the move a few years earlier. It’s fantastic to be part of the Ainscough family.”
Another colleague, Gary Dixon started as a crane operator with Ainscough and has progressed to become Regional QHSE adviser for the South East. Originally from Middlesbrough, Gary, 45, moved to Kent to join the Royal Engineers. His successful army career saw him become a crane operator and become the commanding officers driver until he left in 1995.
"Unable to get a job within the crane industry I became a HGV driver for a local delivery firm, although I know that this was only going to be a short term job. Due to the fact that I wanted to get back into the crane industry, then back in August 1999 the chance to join Ainscough arose and I grabbed it with both hands and have never looked back.
“The transition for me was simple as I was operating semi-autonomously from the forces toward the end of my time. I’d had the ‘army chip’ removed as they say. Working here has been brilliant for me as there’s more responsibility: there isn’t always somebody else to make your decisions for you as there is in the army.
“The best tribute I can pay to the company is that I’ve encouraged my nephew to apply for the role of apprentice fitter position here at the Maidstone depot. I can’t think there’s a better company for him to learn a trade than Ainscough, it’ll set him up for life.”
Armed Forces Day provides a focal point in the year for the general public to celebrate and recognise the services our armed forces provide to the country. The centrepiece of the celebrations is a national event being held in Cleethorpes, North Lincolnshire which includes military displays and a fly by from the Red Arrows.
Armed Forces Day not only celebrates current personnel but also recognises the sacrifices made by their families and that of former service men and women. See www.armedforcesday.org.uk for further information.
To view all of our current vacancies please see www.groupainscough.co.uk/jobs/vacancies For more information or to apply now, please click the link next to the opportunity you’d like to pursue.