This week, Kier’s Infrastructure business has launched a pilot scheme to support people who are transitioning from the Services to civilian life. The Armed Forces work placement programme, will offer experience within Kier to find out more about the roles we have available, the skills required and the culture within the Group.

Here, Kim Thomson, recruitment diversity manager for Kier Group, shares why supporting the Armed Forces community is so important to her and why creating employment links with the Services has significant benefits both for ex-serving personnel and our business.

“I started working as Kier’s recruitment diversity manager in March 2021, and I would frequently hear from colleagues across the Group how important it was for us to support members of the Armed Forces community. It’s not just the talent and skill that they bring but often the cultural alignment and determination for us to be the best that we can be.

Being an employer of choice for those who have left, or are looking to leave, the Services is extremely important to us at Kier. We’re working harder than ever to support this and on a personal level, it’s been a great source of joy for me to help recruit and support people into Kier – and see them thrive.

Not only do we have a duty as an employer to provide support to these individuals, but we also have an absolute need as an industry. Did you know that around 13,500 people leave the Armed Forces every year? This means we potentially have 13,500 individuals that are highly skilled, resilient and dependable looking for employment in a civilian environment that may be somewhat unfamiliar to them. And in an industry with around 48,000 vacancies, we need to be looking at this group of people and understanding what their needs are and how Kier can support them to embed in our business and our wider industry for the benefit of everyone involved.

In December 2021, alongside being re-awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award, we refreshed our pledges to the Armed Forces community. These pledges led to the development of our Armed Forces Inclusion Network (AFIN). As a person with no previous connection to the military I would be the first to say that I had a lot to learn. However, thanks to the support and guidance of the AFIN, I’ve been able to ask questions and lean on their experiences to understand what it means to be a veteran, reservist, Cadet Force Adult Volunteer or to be loved one of someone that serves. The stories they tell and the dedication they all have has certainly made my passion for supporting this incredible group of people grow.

Our latest commitment to the Armed Forces is the development of a work placement programme. This allows us to offer civilian workplace experience to candidates that are transitioning out of their military roles, giving them an insight into how their skills could be channelled into a role within our industry, while providing our business an opportunity to find people for our vacancies.

The increase of flexible and agile working opportunities alongside enhanced benefits is also a great attraction tool when it comes to military talent. Being able to show individuals on the placement programme how both our company culture and fantastic benefits could support them, means they know first-hand what it will be like to work for us – which will help them make informed decisions as they embark on the next step in their careers.

Providing meaningful, long-term employment to the Armed Forces community is an absolute priority for Kier and being at the forefront of making that happen alongside the AFIN and organisations such as Careers Transition Partnership (CTP) and BuildForce makes me feel so incredibly proud.”

If you’re currently serving your military notice period and would like to learn more about work placement opportunities at Kier, visit https://www.kier.co.uk/projects/kier-armed-forces-placement-programme/

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