Royal Navy serviceman sets sail for Veolia

An exciting and challenging career option is being trialled by Dave Simpson, a Royal Navy serviceman from Portsmouth.

Veolia Environmental Services, which operates the county’s three Energy Recovery Facilities (ERF), including one in Copnor, is snapping up servicemen who have exactly the right background in engineering, operations and maintenance.

Dave is 39, currently a Warrant Officer and has spent over 22 years in service for the Royal Navy serving on six ships including the Grafton and Daring. He is spending a week of his resettlement training at the Portsmouth and Marchwood ERFs and was keen to visit the facilities because waste management is a growth industry which suits his skills and provides plenty of opportunities..

Portsmouth is synonymous with the Navy and servicemen are looking to remain where their families have settled. Ex-services staff bring a number of highly regarded qualities with them, including training, responsibility, flexibility, management and leadership skills that are desirable in the waste management industry. They are also excellent trouble-shooters – following training, they can solve almost any problem. In the UK there is a lack of suitable engineering graduates, though a degree is not necessary, who are capable of moving into management roles.

Dave said: “I’ve really enjoyed visiting the ERFs and it’s given me a great insight into one of the opportunities that could be open to me when I leave the Navy.” Charlie Winterburn, Facility Manager at the Portsmouth ERF said: “The whole team were glad to show Dave around the Energy Recovery Facility. With the UK producing fewer engineering professionals, introducing, training and employing people from the Navy is key to keeping our operations going as they have transferable skills, allowing those leaving the forces to embark upon a new long-term career path.”

Charlie continued to explain that many of the staff at the Hampshire ERFs are ex-services, because Hampshire is the ideal area for recruiting them. “But you don’t see enough young people entering the engineering industry, and I’m a great supporter of apprenticeship schemes, like the one that Veolia operates.” If you know of anyone aged 16 and over who may be interested in joining one of Veolia's apprenticeship schemes across the UK, please contact us by email to jenny.mountford@veolia.co.uk, Apprenticeship Mananger at Campus Veolia.