From RAF Squadron Leader to Director of Defence
Andy served as a Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force (RAF) for 27 years before retiring in 2010. As part of the RAF Infrastructure Branch, Andy was responsible, as a programme and project manager, for overseeing construction projects including new aircraft hangars, the resurfacing of major RAF runways, and the construction of accommodation at UK bases.
He also undertook an MSc in Facilities Management at Leeds Metropolitan University and studied for qualifications through the Association of Project Management.
On retiring from the RAF, Andy set about developing his CV with help from the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) and in 2010 he became Director of Defence at Morgan Sindall. Andy has overall responsibility for Morgan Sindall’s defence construction, ensuring it is delivered on time and to the highest quality whilst providing excellent customer service.
I have brought a number of skills from my military career, including strong leadership and management, integrity and discipline. I have learnt how to adapt all of these skills to best effect in the private sector.
Although moving into the private sector created a huge challenge, it was reassuring to know that along with my civilian qualifications, my service experience and training was of value to a leading UK construction and infrastructure business.
I was in the RAF for 27 years. There are some remarkable similarities, a hierarchical structure, the discipline of working on site and having to think on your feet. From the military you get an awful lot of management and leadership training and these translate perfectly into the construction industry.”
My last role in the RAF was Military Assistant to the Commander of Kandahar airbase. It was an immense operation with 30,000 troops. I had to manage the flow of information from a wide variety of sources and channel it into communications. I was dealing with everything from air traffic control to catering.
My experiences in the RAF have been good preparation for my subsequent career in construction. In both sectors, effective communication can be the difference between life and death.
Now, as Director of Defence at Morgan Sindall, I look after all the defence contracts nationally in the UK. It’s a portfolio with an annual value in excess of £100 million.
Morgan Sindall actively recruits from the military and we find that service leavers fit well with our organisation. They’re the kind of people that bring that extra bit to a project: a strong work ethic, a collaborative mindset, and a focus on quality and getting the job done.
From an employer’s perspective, the benefits of recruiting from the armed forces are obvious. The combination of a military mindset with a construction qualification is an asset to any project or team.”