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Army life is great preparation for Granada’s service engineers

Ryan (left) and Simon (right) working in Granada’s Site Services Division Unit

After 4 years in the Duke of Lancaster’s First Battalion, Simon Rushton and Ryan Walker were each offered apprenticeships by Granada, where they’ve been training and working as service engineers, both on- and offshore. Granada supports them, fully-funding their 3-year college course and NVQ, and with extensive on-the-job mentoring and training.

Simon joined Granada 4 years ago, and completed his NVQ this month, and Ryan has just finished his first year at college. Both are ex-infantrymen, having spent 4 years in the army and, though they didn’t know each other at the time, they served on the same 7-month tour of Afghanistan in 2010.

Army training and tours are clearly an ideal preparation for life as a Granada service engineer, including 7 months training at the Army’s Infantry Training Centre in Catterick. As Simon explains, when asked about the weather conditions that Granada’s offshore engineers deal with, ‘In the army, you’re used to being in countries that get 10 times hotter and 10 times colder.’ Ryan added, ‘Attitude’s a big thing – we’re used to it.’

Granada support their ex-infantrymen, funding the electrical installation qualifications and NVQs necessary for them to work as service engineers, and supporting them in their day-to-day training both onsite at Granada’s headquarters in Rochdale and when they’re working with customers either onshore or offshore. As Ryan commented, ‘Granada have been really brilliant for me’, and Simon added, ‘Everyone’s only a phone call away. ‘

Simon and Ryan are both clear that the army can be positive, teaching self-reliance, confidence and general life-skills. However, they highlighted the difficulties that infantry soldiers can face when leaving the army, with a lack of support and no clear career progression. This is key to Granada’s motivation for employing ex-infantry. As Stuart Sharples, Site Service Division Manager at Granada, explains, ‘We are committed to investing in training and qualifications, offering ex-military a worthwhile and long-term career.’

Granada’s support and investment is clearly working for their ex-army recruits, as Simon added, ‘I’d never have dreamed of having a job this highly skilled. I feel like I could get a job all over the world now, doing what I do, and 4 years ago I could hardly get a job in Manchester. I can’t give Granada enough credit for what they’ve done for me.’