Final Rank: Engineering Surveyor
Having served in the Royal Engineers for five years, specialising as an Engineering Surveyor, LCpl Neil Duddy, left the Army in 2008 with a host of qualifications under his belt, including: HNC in Engineering Surveying, SVQ level 2 in Construction and Civil Engineering Services, and NVQ level 2 Security, Safety and Loss Prevention. On top of these, he achieved the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety and NEBOSH Construction Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety during his resettlement phase.
He used his ELC (first claim) to undertake the first of these, and also took (second claim) a Fire Manager course with Vulcan Fire Training in June 2010, leading to a Technician-grade professional fire safety qualification with the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM). In May 2011 Neil used his ELC (third claim) to part fund additional training with Vulcan Fire Training, by attending the Advanced Manager Course, building on his previous qualification already gained.
Since leaving the Royal Engineers, Neil first of all worked as a health and safety adviser within the railway division of a leading civil engineering company. He says: “My first two ELC claims enabled me to attend courses that were run to a high standard and relevant to me progressing my role in health and safety. The training was excellent, and both providers made me feel very comfortable through the booking process using ELC and during the course. Both courses gave me recognition by a professional institution, which demonstrates to employers that I have received good academic training.
With my third claim I attended the Vulcan Advanced Fire Manager course. The course built on and improved my knowledge of fire safety – and, as a result of taking the course, I was accepted by the IFSM from a Technician grade and awarded a Member Grade (MIFSM). Gaining this qualification ensures and demonstrates that I can provide competent advice with regard to fire risk assessment and fire safety management. By using ELC accredited providers like Vulcan Fire Training, you can ensure you strengthen your skill set in what is a very competitive climate in the job market today.”
After relocating to the Northeast in September 2011, Neil worked as a Consultant to local businesses and as a Fire Safety Advisor for the Local Authority. Providing fire safety advice and training to a range of businesses and premises.
In 2015, Neil joined Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd as their Fire Engineer, at their Sunderland Plant. Responsible for providing fire safety advice, delivering training, completion of fire risk assessments and producing fire strategy documents.
Neil is due to start his third year of his MSc in Fire and Explosion Engineering in September 2017 with Leeds University and states that “without the training and knowledge gained from attending the fire management courses with Vulcan Fire Training, I will not be where I am today. I take pride in my work knowing that I have received excellent training and a strong foundation which has shaped my career in Fire Safety and Fire Engineering”.
He sums up: ‘Ensure you register for ELC! I used one claim in 2008 during resettlement, one claim in 2010 and the third in 2011. This enabled me to gain academic qualifications at a very good price, as each claim gave me £1,000 of funding. It takes time to complete a form to register, but you have ten years to use the claims. I used mine in four years, and can honestly say it was worth it. You can also mention to employers during interviews that you have this additional funding available, which could be the difference between getting a job or not.”