We’ve got employee support in our sights!
… so says Jacobs, which aims to be very much more than a global professional services company with a huge international presence. In the UK it’s carrying out major projects including HS2 and Crossrail, but at the individual level it’s also doing a great deal to support its ex-Forces employees …
It’s welcome news for QUEST readers that businesses are looking to provide better support to their ex-military employees, and global professional services firm Jacobs is a shining example of just that. It has a long and proud record of supporting its veteran employees with various initiatives and programmes, and – as part of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) – was recently presented with a Gold Award for its support of and commitment to the UK Armed Forces, marking the culmination of Jacobs’ 30 years of support to the MoD.
Over the years, Jacobs’ initiatives have included the following …
- It established employee network VetNet to advocate for veterans and military reserve members of government military organisations and related groups from around the world. VetNet supports more than 2,000 Jacobs veteran employees, their families and other veteran supporters from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, India and elsewhere.
- In April 2019, Jacobs re-committed as a signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC), and also set up an Armed Forces Relationship Coordination Group, to lead and coordinate all of its UK Armed Forces activities, including recruitment, secondments, community engagement and personal development.
- Jacobs is part of the ERS, which encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the Armed Forces community.
‘We have veterans and reservists thriving in a variety of roles around the world; they are an important and integral part of our workforce,’ says Pete Lutwyche, Jacobs Aerospace, Technology and Nuclear International Senior Vice President and General Manager. ‘These employees bring with them a wide range of qualities and transferable skills from their service in the military and an ability to work in high-pressure situations.’
Jacobs’ Bruce Snelling, Donald Morrison and David Ellis receiving the ERS Gold Award from Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen (2nd from left)
Winning with Jacobs
Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Snelling works at Jacobs as a project manager and is also a reservist. He says, ‘Jacobs positively recognises and supports my involvement in the Army reserves, both by policy and management, which helps me to balance home and reserves life. This has included facilitating a six-week sabbatical to enable me to participate in a major tri-Service exercise as an enabler.’
Jacobs risk manager Elaine Wardle joined the RAF Air Cadets as a 13 year old looking for a new challenge. She progressed through the cadet ranks and, at the age of 21, moved in to a staff role, gaining the Queen’s Commission in 2004. In 2011, she was given command of her own Squadron and this year was promoted to Squadron Leader responsible for five Air Cadet Squadrons totalling 130 youths and 50 staff.
Joining Jacobs nearly 16 years ago, Elaine has developed her civilian career in risk management and is also an active STEM promoter, supporting some of Jacobs’ STEM activities with the Cadet Forces.
When Jacobs director of logistics and Army Reserve Officer Tim Brent was mobilised to join the British government’s response to Hurricane Irma, he experienced at first hand the logistics required to assemble the effort. A huge number of residents and tourists were affected when the hurricane wreaked a trail of devastation across the Caribbean in September last year. Three of the British Overseas Territories – the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and the Turks and Caicos Islands – were particularly badly hit, with houses destroyed, electricity cut off, and ports and airfields damaged.
During the mobilisation, Tim was deployed to help analyse critical priorities to re-establish the infrastructure, including the immediate support of hospitals, food distribution nodes, energy plants, airports and other infrastructure. After the immediate recovery phase, Tim supported the UK Task Force in developing a long-term strategy.
Commenting on his experience, Tim says: ‘Industry has a lot to offer in circumstances like this, providing expertise and best practice to support a coherent path to recovery. I’m glad I was able to contribute in an effective way as part of a great team, and I was extremely humbled by the efforts of the local population as they began the process of reconstructing their devastated islands.’
Following his deployment, Tim has been invited to participate in several post-operation learning sessions to highlight the value of this industry reach-back and to explore how mobilisation for reservists from industry can be streamlined.
Jacobs leads the global professional services sector, providing solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. With approximately $12 billion in revenue and a talent force of more than 50,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional, and construction and programme management for business, industrial, commercial, government and infrastructure sectors.