Jon Willis - Travel Risk Manager
Final Rank: Corporal
Enlisted: May 2002
Exit date: September 2011
Specialisation/trade: Heavy weapons/anti-tanks
Current occupation: Travel risk manager
Hello Jon! Please tell us when you registered for ELC.
In 2011 for both a personal training and a close protection qualification. I last used one towards my degree.
What military qualifications have you obtained during your Service career?
- Gun Line Commander
- Jungle Warfare Instructor
- Skill at Arms Instructor
- Heavy Weapons instructor
- Train the Trainer
And what civilian qualifications?
In 2006 ILM level 2 in Team Leading, and in 2009 both my ILM level 3 Award in Workplace Coaching for Team Leaders and First Line Managers and Edexcel level 4 BTEC Professional Certificate in Teaching in the Life Long Sector (CTLLS).
What qualifications have you received as a result of using ELC?
In 2014 I began study for a BA (Hons) in Security Consultancy, which I completed in May 2018. The same year (2014) I also began my studies for the FDA Protective Security Management course (completed in June 2016). These were taken at Bucks University.
Did the courses build on Service/civilian qualifications you have already obtained?
At first with the Security Consultancy course it was hard to see what some of the relevance was but, in the later stages, year 3, the subjects helped my in my job. The FDA is more focused on manned guarding; the most relevant part for me was the legislation surrounding duty of care.
How much study was involved in classes or at home, using e-learning, and was this easy for you to manage?
I have a full-time job and two very young children. It is achievable provided that you manage your time and put the effort in. I worked best in two- to three-hour stints in the library at the weekend as I could focus. Sometimes after work or at home is not ideal. You get out what you put in. I did the best I could while ensuring I performed well at work and maintained a family life. I think regular communication with the tutor is key. Simon King is excellent and very supportive.
Will you attend any other related courses? If so, which ones?
I will be looking to complete practical courses next, which are focused on crisis management, business continuity and elements of audit (ISO27001, ISO22301).
Before you started, what did you hope that the BA (Hons) course would give you?
A foundation and credibility. Experience is important but these days you often need a degree as a baseline for employers to take you on.
Please describe your BA (Hons) course.
It is a general course covering a broad range of subjects in security consultancy – from business planning to strategic security management, organisational resilience and more.
What advice do you have for other Service people registering for or using ELC?
Use your ELCs wisely and, remember, if you have ELCs left they will be taken up in the PF/HE scheme, therefore I think it is best to use your ELCs first but this does mean waiting some time before you can take advantage of the PF/HE scheme.
What was your first civilian job after leaving the Forces and how did you find it?
What is your current job/job title?
Travel risk manager – a role I have been in for 18 months.
Please describe what this job involves on a day-to-day basis?
Managing global travel and duty of care for PwC UK.
What do you like/dislike about it?
It’s an interesting subject, but there is a vast amount of paperwork.
What training or experience gained during your Service career are you now finding useful in civilian life?
Security operational planning.
Are there are any similarities between your Service role and your current job?
My operational experience has helped me to look after staff in high-risk areas.
What are the major differences between your Service role and your current job?
You work in the civilian world. It is monotonous. In the military there are highs and lows – the civilian world is more of a steady constant.
Is there a significant difference in salary?
I am earning more now than when I left but it depends what job you have.
Is there anything you wish you had known before you began your transition?
Not to underestimate the transition period.
What advice would you like to give to other Service leavers going through resettlement and career transition?
The transition takes time, whether you realise it or not. You have good skills but remember to reflect and improve on personal skills etc. The civilian sector is not the military.
To find out more, visit https://bucks.ac.uk