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Resettlement success

Steven A
Forces: Army

Steven A - WO2

“Decide what you want to do well in advance! Plan, prepare and execute that plan with no distractions.”

Ex-WO2 Steven Abbott served in the Army for 22 years in RA Logistics, with his latest military role being a Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS). With the exception of the long periods of time spent away from home, Steven enjoyed every aspect of his Army career, and only left due to the fulfillment of his 22 year contract.

As part of his resettlement, Steven attended the three day CTP Career Transition Workshop (CTW) where he learnt how to translate his military skills and experience into civilian qualifications, how to write a civilian CV and covering letter and how to build his online social presence. Steven said, “the CTW opened my eyes to the commercial world.”

Having assessed his options and the current job market, Steven decided to pursue a new career as a Refrigeration Engineer, and created a 16 month plan to help him stay on track. As part of his plan, Steven completed a Level 3 Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heat Pumps course, which provided commercial knowledge along with the opportunity to network with civilian engineers.

The next step in his plan was to undertake a Civilian Work Attachment (CWA). Steven sourced his own placement and completed one day a week with a national refrigeration company. He describes it as vital part of the resettlement process: “Without the experience of the CWA I may not have succeeded in gaining entry into the industry.”

Since July 2017, Steven has worked as a Trainee Refrigeration Engineer for Star Refrigeration, the UK’s largest independent industrial refrigeration and heating contractor. In this role, Steven is currently undergoing a 12 month training programme to become a qualified engineer and is using the skills he learnt during his military career, as well as those gained on the Level 3 qualification, on a daily basis. “I have been lucky in the fact that I had a plan; I followed that plan for 16 months so the transition from military to civilian life has been quite smooth for me.”

Steven’s advice for anyone thinking of leaving the forces is: “Decide what you want to do well in advance! Plan, prepare and execute that plan with no distractions.”

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