Connect Plus Services marks Remembrance Day

Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the last Saturday of June each year, falling on this coming Saturday 24th June for 2023.

The day is dedicated to showing our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.

At Connect Plus Services, we have a valued and growing team of Service leavers within our departments. We recognise the vast array of transferable and unique skills that they bring, not only to the business but the industry.

In turn, we continue to encourage the industry to recognise and support their transition throughout the recruitment process, which is often faced with challenges.

As we prepare to celebrate Armed Forces Day, we will be introducing some of our colleagues who discuss their experiences and transition into their current careers.

Wayne Bovelle has been in his role of night supervisor within the construction team since July 2017. As part of his role, Wayne travels around the network with various sub-contractors completing planned works as well as having supervised junctions 2, 13, 23, 1a and A30 Crooked Billet improvement schemes.

Prior to joining the industry, Wayne served in the Armed Forces for 23 years which incorporated 11 in the infantry and 12 as a Royal Engineer.

While discussing the transition from the Armed Forces, Wayne said: ‘I believe there are many transferable skills, this includes leadership, teamwork, strong work ethic, core values as well as self-direction and motivation.’

Wayne continues: ‘The main challenges faced by armed services leavers is understanding that many of their skills are transferable to any workplace and the guidance available on how to relate current skills
to civilian jobs/speak. This could be overcome by getting help with CVs and speaking with other ex-forces members who have already made the transition.’

Sam Nash joined in his role as Structures Inspection Delivery Manager/Senior Inspector at CPS 4 years ago and is responsible for delivering all inspections on Area 5 structures.

Prior to joining the industry, Sam served in the Armed Forces for 6 years Craftsman in the light aid detachment to the 3rd Royal Anglians.

Sam says he was drawn to apply for his position at CPS as it was ‘a great opportunity to be involved in the largest most complex inspection programme I knew of.’

He continues that there are many transferable skills that Armed Forces staff can bring to the industry: ‘The ability to think and act under high pressure situations is something particularly important and developed within the armed forces, armed forces personnel are well suited to being dropped into these situations and not panicking.’

However, when talking about challenges in recruitment, Sam said: ‘A big challenge is that a civilian mindset can be quite different from a military one, additional time may be needed by the applicant and the employer to allow this adjustment to take place.

Kevin Cuthbert recently joined the CPS team as Shift Manager on green shift, managing the safe and efficient delivery of all site activity with repairs and maintenance.

Kevin said ‘the uniqueness of the site stood out for me when applying to work on the M25 project. The crossing is internationally recognised and there is massive variety in the work dealing with different
contractors and scheduled maintenance.’

‘I have served in the Armed Forces for 24 years, working my way through each level of management to Senior Non-Commissioned Officer. I was a line manager for a Platoon with flexible numbers raging
from 60-140 personnel, with numbers changing daily depending on where trainees were within their course pipeline. I have also managed a workshop of engineers maintaining a vehicle fleet so that its ready for any situation.'

Kevin’s shares his advice to others considering joining the industry from the services: ‘It can be a bit daunting knowing that you are now having to change careers after spending so long in the military, so the biggest challenge was CV writing and job interviews.’

‘I think the earlier you start your CV writing the better, start before you are contemplating leaving the Military because its hard to look back over 24 years and remember everything you have done from a
management point of view.'

Dominic has recently joined the CPS team as Health and Safety Advisor, having transitioned from the British Military Royal Engineers.

Dominic has served in the Armed Forces for 10 years, he said: ‘I served as an Armoured Engineer working on heavy armoured vehicles and worked my way through the ranks to become sergeant. I was
then in charge of up to 30 men at any one time, providing training to allow them to develop as soldiers for the future.’

Dominic’s advise to other service leavers considering a career in the industry is: ‘I would encourage all members of the Armed Forces to apply to work in this environment. We can bring so much to this
profession, and we can also gain so much also.’

'The industry recognises the skillset that military personnel possess. The courses they offer enables exmilitary to shine and show their true potential through confidence and the ability to overcome issues
using unique skillsets built upon the key values of the Military.'

Clifton began his role of Operations Manager for Drainage Inspections 1 month ago at CPS.

Clifton has served in the Armed Forces for 22 years prior to joining the industry.

In discussing the transition to civilian life, Clifton said: ‘The Armed Forces is like any other organisation, whereas there is a chain of command, management structure and roles with certain responsibilities.
The skills you learn in the military include leadership, communication and organisation which can be transferred into any civilian organisation.’

‘The main challenges faced by ex-service personnel in recruitment is getting a foothold on the work ladder. It is important to have a good CV highlighting your transferable skills, do your homework when
looking at employers and look at what courses you can do whilst still in the military that are beneficial for when you leave.'

Barry Martin has been in his role as TM and Structures Inspection Logistics Manager for four years at CPS.

In his role Barry organises the traffic management and booking for the inspectors to carry out their inspections safely on all of the structures on the M25 and surrounding areas.

Prior to joining the industry Barry served in the Armed Forces for 6 years.

Barry said: ‘I believe the Armed Forces gives you the mindset to succeed but also makes you an individual that works well in a team and also alone where needed with minimal supervision.’

‘In the services there are lots of different skills that can be transferred to a new life alongside a great working team. The main challenges faced by service leavers is adapting to a civilian way of life. This can be overcome by integrating into working on a great contract with a great team and learning new skills

Leon joined the industry over a year ago and is now in the position of Senior Supervisor for the (Pre Defined Assets) team.

Prior to joining CPS, Leon spent 24 years serving in the Armed Forces, as soldier and officer.

He said: 'Working my way through the ranks I completed my solider Career as the Regimental Sergeant Major withing the Rifles (Infantry) then commissioned as a Officer into the rank of Captain (Rifles) my last role was as the unit welfare officer for a Battalion of 360 rifleman.'

On speaking about his transition from military to the highways industry, Leon says ‘managerial and communication skills are most definitely transferable to this industry, as well as the skill to learn quickly and with enthusiasm.

Richard Mould joined the business 13 years ago and is currently in his position of Technology Engineer.

Richard served in the Royal Navy for 5 years before taking his current role at CPS.

Speaking about his transition from military to the highways industry, Richard said ‘The M25 is an important part of the UK infrastructure and there’s so much to learn about what others do to keep it running. It’s especially great for Armed Forces leavers as the support network and community is wonderful.’

Richard’s advice to anybody thinking of joining the industry is ‘You will be an important part of the machine, as you were in the military. Don’t be worried about the adjustment, there are plenty of veterans here to guide you along the way.'

Rob has been in his role of Operations and Maintenance Manager at CPS for four years.

In his role, Robert manages the safe and efficient delivery of operations and maintenance activity within the allocated geographical area of the Northwest quadrant of the M25.

He said:  ‘I was in the Armed Forces for 13 years prior to taking my career into the Highways industry. I worked my way through each level of management and finished up as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer. I was Line Manager for a troop of 30 personnel.’

‘The Armed Forces is like any other organisation, so far as there is a chain of commands, management structure and roles with certain responsibilities. The skills you learn in the military; particularly leadership, communication and organisation can be easily transferred to the industry. Specifically, to the M25 project, it is a highly strategic network for the UK and with the amount of work required to keep it moving, there is a role perfect for anyone leaving the services.’

Many of our career opportunities are perfectly suited to service leavers and the breadth of skills gained through experience with the Armed Forces.  

See our full list of vacanciesjob descriptions and apply online here.


Notes to Editors

About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services

  • Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
  • Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
  • Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
  • With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
  • Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
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