• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

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Hire a hero, says ex-squaddie turned businessman

Warrant Officer Michael CoxonAn ex-squaddie turned businessman has joined the call to encourage companies to look beyond the soldier, to the person behind the uniform.

The call was echoed by Warrant Officer Michael Coxon of the Third Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and Andrew Wilkinson, Personal Development Advisor at the Royal Artillery Centre for Personal Development, who visited the Turnbull and Thomas showroom to throw their weight behind the campaign.

Terence Turnbull, a director at Eaglescliffe-based fine furnishing company Turnbull and Thomas, has teamed up with J1 Consulting, a specialist recruitment agency that matches ex-forces people with businesses, to encourage more businesses to hire from the military talent pool.

After serving in the Army for 24 years, Terence re-entered civilian life armed with a portfolio of skills and the qualifications to match, but felt that potential employers couldn’t, or wouldn’t, recognise the talent within him as it didn’t fit the model of experience they were used to.

He now wants to prevent other forces-leavers suffering the same fate by working with J1 to champion the skills that many people who served their country possess, such as adaptability, accountability, problem solving, team work and leadership.

Terence Turnbull said: “I set up Turnbull and Thomas with my business partner, Gareth, because I realised that some people couldn’t see beyond the uniform, which is a shame because businesses can benefit immensely from employing people who have served in the forces, especially in management positions.

“I would much rather have one former warrant officer or non-commissioned officer over a dozen university graduates. We have a tradition of excellence, we do not understand the word failure and we succeed where most fail, or simply give up.

“It is no coincidence that many of the fastest growing franchises of 2015 are owned by people who served in the armed forces.

“Many companies do not understand the career path within the forces. People serving in the Navy, Army and Air Force receive constant education, and many earn qualifications which are equal to undergraduate or master degrees. This flies in the face of the assumption that many people make that soldiers are of purely of use on the battlefield.

“As Turnbull and Thomas grows and expands, we hope to employ service leavers in the positions that become available. I know that there is a vast workforce out there that is under-utilised and under-appreciated, and I only hope that other employers take the initiative and hire a hero.”

Nick Everard, a former Lieutenant Colonel and Managing Director of J1 Consulting, said: “We are very happy to support this initiative by Turnbull and Thomas.  There is a great deal of goodwill amongst businesses towards the Armed Forces, but most have very little idea of what rank, background or experience is appropriate to their vacancy, nor how to find the right person even if they do.

“Over the last five years we have forged a successful business solving that issue, and introducing suitable, carefully vetted ex-military candidates to employers on a no hire no fee basis.   There are very few sectors where this cannot be done – it just requires businesses to ignore stereotyped misconceptions about the military and to have an open mind.”

By admin