September 19th 2014


Some of the UK’s top engineering companies have gathered in London to hear about the benefits of employing Army Reserves.

Over 20 companies attended a special reception to be addressed by the most senior Army Reserve in the British Army, Deputy Commander Land Forces Major General Ranald Munro.

The event held on Thursday, 18th September at London Scottish Headquarters, Westminster, had been organised by Nottinghamshire based 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group.

The Engineer Group consists of specialist regular and reserve military engineers who provide infrastructure engineering expertise to the Armed Forces and other government departments. They cover the full spectrum of infrastructure support, from camps to roads, railways, ports, fuel, water, power and airfield support. Their role sees them providing design, construction supervision and advice in all of these areas.

It is made up of Works Groups and sub-units called Specialist Team Royal Engineers. This includes 65 Works Group Royal Engineers; a 300-strong nationally recruited Reserve unit. The Works Group has power, fuel, water and airfields infrastructure teams as well as rail and port infrastructure teams whose capabilities are unique to the Army Reserve.

Lieutenant Colonel Darin Gray, the Commanding Officer of 65 Works Group said: “We are a specialist engineering unit and as a result all of our reservists need to have experience in engineering; for example civil, mechanical and electrical engineering or related subjects such as construction management, project management, quantity surveyors or architects.

“Reservists have and will continue to play an important role in our Engineer Group so it is important that we maintain the support of employers and ensure they have a clear understanding of the benefits, obligations and rights of a Reservist. The evening explained what they can expect from us and what they can gain from employing a reservist.”

Deputy Commander Land Forces Major General Ranald Munro speaks to the assembled employers

The evening included a presentation from an employer’s perspective by Mark Sweeny, the Human Resources Director at Essar Oil. He said: “The benefits of employing reservists and indeed ex regulars – I would argue are absolutely tangible to an employer, are highly valued and are something that you cannot actually buy as a training package from a training provider.”

He continued: “You cannot buy the ethos, self confidence, resourcefulness or attitude that service in the forces regular or volunteer provides.”

The evening concluded with the presentation of Martello Towers, the insignia of 170 (Infrastructure Support), to Essar Oil and Carillion as a symbol of their partnerships with 170 (Infrastructure) Engineer Group.

The Commanding Officer of 65 Works Group, Lt Col Gray said: “Over 200 of our reservists have deployed on full-time operations since 2003 including Iraq and Afghanistan. 64 Works Group is currently deployed in Afghanistan and this includes 18 reservists. 170 Engineer Group places the highest value on the contribution made by Reservists and the success of the Army Reserve depends on the continued support of employers such as Essar Oil and Carillion.”