From Army Warrant Officer to Training Centre Manager
John Stevens – Managing an HR department as the Regimental Administration Warrant Officer for the Kings Royal Hussars made John Stevens the ideal candidate to head up the Carillion training centre in Bristol.
John Stevens managed a team of 17 HR administrators and managers providing fiscal services to the regiment. His role involved ensuring the regiment was deployable at all times through strict management of reports and returns and dealing with discipline issues as they arose.
‘My military experience gave me the ability to adapt and overcome: constant change happens within the Army without warning. I gained leadership and management skills and the confidence to motivate my team and develop them. Army life gives you the ability to perform under extreme physical and mental pressures whilst on operations, along with excellent decision making, problem-solving and strategic level creative thinking skills.’
‘I left the Army as an efficient organiser and multi-tasker capable of operating in a very fast paced environment, with great communication skills, and experience in identifying and managing stakeholders by delivering complex information.’
In his current role, John deals with daily discipline issues that arise from student behaviour, manages health and safety, which involves management inspections four times a day to ensure that all learners are wearing correct personal protection equipment (PPE), daily management of reports and returns and dealing with absences.
‘The main skill which I have brought with me is leadership. In the military we live by a strict leadership code and I feel that this has been a massive help with dealing with daily situations within the centre. I would also say that being adaptable and being able to step outside the box is a real asset.
‘Networking was key to finding my present position as manager of the Carillion training centre in Bristol. My son’s friend’s mother told me that BuildForce was about to start a partnership with Carillion, to help ex-military personnel move to careers within the construction industry, and I passed her my CV.
‘The Career Transitional Workshop was my first step in the right direction. It really helped me with interview techniques and preparing my CV. It also helped me realise skills I had but was unaware of.
‘The hardest challenge was not having any commercial experience and more commercial training would have been helpful, as this was the biggest stumbling block that I had to overcome.
‘I would advise anyone leaving the service to train as best as they can, to be commercially aware and to plan as far ahead as possible. Networking is one of the most important things: believe it and embrace it as much as you can.