Balfour Beatty Reservists information and support
We have a number of colleagues who are members of all branches of the Reserves. As part of our commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, we provide additional 10 days leave for members of the Reserve Forces, as part of our special leave policy.
Reservists undertake military training alongside their ‘day’ job at weekends and during an annual camp. They develop a range of highly transferable skills that can be used in their civilian life as well as benefiting from a range of experiences unique to military service.
We support those who have been called up to deploy and have relationships with a number of specific Reserve units.
Meet James Savage - RAF Reservist
James Savage, Design Coordinator in our Construction Services UK South business unit, has been with Balfour Beatty for 18-months. Here, James talks about his role as an RAF Reservist:
Reserve unit role and length of service: RAF Police NCO – 3.5 Years.
Why did you decide to become a Reservist? I have always had a vested interest in the Royal Air Force and had wanted to get into the regulars as an Officer. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be as they closed the branch I was accepted for. I then started life as a Graduate Structural Engineer and I decided to join the Reserves to get the best of both worlds. I was an Engineer and a Airman and I take pride in both.
Were you already a Reservist when you joined Balfour Beatty or did you join after joining Balfour Beatty?
Yes, I was already a reservist and I was actually serving as an Intelligence Analyst but made the leap into Policing in May 2016. This has been a very good choice and Balfour Beatty has always been supportive of me and my reservist activities.
How much time do you spend with the Reserves and what do you do? I usually spend a weekend a month with the reserves whilst also taking part in Aviation Security Taskings - I get to travel downroute with an aircraft be it a C17 or A400m to anywhere in the world and provide security for the aircraft and the crew. I also get involved with Airshows and Adventurous Training. I am going to be spending two weeks policing the Royal International Air Tattoo in July.
What key skills have you learned in the Reserves? I have learned many skills during my time with the reserves. These include Leadership; Communication and Management Skills; and Investigation and Critical Analysis Skills.
How do you balance the demands of the Reserves and Balfour Beatty? I try to balance the needs as much as I can. I often want to do more with the reserves but I know I only have a limited time set aside to undertake these tasks, therefore I have to be strict on myself as not to let the reserves take over.
Have you ever been called up/deployed? I have been called up and will be mobilising in July and Deploying to the Falkland Islands in September for six months. I will be mobilised for a total of 12 months. I have already started my prep for this and will conduct further training in July. This mobilisation is in aid of Backfill support to the regulars in the Falklands, in order to maintain the 24/7 Security of the South Atlantic.
What type of support do you get from Balfour Beatty? Balfour Beatty is very supportive with my reservist career. I get ten working days extra annual leave to support my Annual Continuous Training, which I need to complete each year. I have flexibility that if I am required urgently, I am able to support my Reserve Squadron when I can. I am able to contribute to helping the future of the Balfour Beatty Armed Forces Support Group.
What skills that you learned in the Reserves have you used at Balfour Beatty? I have used the Critical Analysis and Investigation skills I learnt in my work as a Design Coordinator to help with analysing design timelines and processes. I have also used the communication skills on a day to day basis as I am more confident in how I communicate certain issues. These skills help my career as I am able to become more confident and assertive in my role.
Would you recommend others to join the Reserves? I would recommend the reserves to any one of any age. It is not just a weekend club, you actually feel valued as a member of the reserves as you are trained to the same level as your regular counterparts and when push comes to shove and we are doing the job for real, you can be at ease with your role as you can fit seamlessly into the team. It also provides vital skills when can be a great factor in advancing your career in civvie street.
Do you consider Balfour Beatty to be a Forces-Friendly employer? I do. Balfour Beatty is very supportive of all aspects of the forces, whether it be reservists or service leavers. They are going for a Gold Award with the Armed Forces Covenant and I believe they will get it as they have been nothing but supportive to me since I arrived in January 2016. It can be very difficult to raise the issue of being a reservist when you apply for a role, as many companies do not fully understand what that means for them as a business. My line manager was very keen in my interview when I mentioned the Reserves and I wish more companies were like this.