From REME Mechanical Engineer to Operations Manager

Phil Barnett – Twenty four years in the REME equipped Phil Barnett with the skills and confidence to take on a role as Operations Manager in construction logistics

Phil Barnett’s typical day in the REME would entail anything from planning deployments supporting a battalion to designing maintenance programmes. ‘It gave me experience in communication above all – briefings, one to one, managing procedures and managing teams.’

Those skills have been hugely helpful in my current role, Client relationships, tackling logistics issues, smoothing out problems and maintaining control between multiple projects. Having the ability to listen to what is being said and identify different roles and qualifications needed is invaluable.

Military personnel are reliable, adaptable and safety conscious and these are fantastic qualities for recruiters in the construction industry.

One of the main challenges I faced in the transition was the commercial sector, the responsibility for finances and the different jargon. More experience of meeting companies and understanding what the commercial expectations are would have been helpful as I started that journey.

My advice to anyone looking to move into the construction industry from the military is to identify what role you want – practical or managerial – then research what skills and qualifications are needed. There are so many different roles in construction, nothing is unachievable it’s just a question of finding out about them, getting a foot in the door and gaining experience.

Phil Barnett
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