June 7th 2017

Engineering professionals train alongside Army Reservists

Employers take part in a leadership activity

Employers take part in a leadership activity

Graduates and engineering professionals from local businesses have been training alongside members of the Reserve Forces.

The employees from six companies with engineering backgrounds have taken part in the three-day course called Exercise Martello Stretch from Thursday 1 June to Saturday 3 June.

Members of the Army’s 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group put the participants through their paces in a number of activities including command and leadership tasks.

The attendees learnt how reservists develop leadership and management skills which they could translate to their own careers, as well as learning about life in the Army Reserve generally and the benefits on offer to individuals such as training opportunities and the chance to take part in adventurous training overseas.

Event organiser Captain Terry Gillard, Engagement and Retention Officer, at 170 Engineer Group, said:  “It was fantastic that those who attended Exercise Martello Stretch 2017 had no previous military experience so found themselves at times well outside of their comfort zone. Every person threw themselves into the various tasks with enthusiasm which makes all the effort my team put into the event worthwhile. I am sure everybody learnt things about themselves as well as new skills that they can take back to the workplace”.

RPS in Newark were one of the businesses to enter a team in to the event.

David Dunbar, Operational Director – RPS Planning and Development in Newark, said: “RPS are really pleased to be back at Chetwynd Barracks, the regimental home of 170 Group Royal Engineers and the location of this year’s Martello Stretch leadership exercise.

“We gladly entered a team of architectural and engineering staff from our Newark office after winning the inaugural event last year, following which RPS has presented a Martello Tower Trophy for 2017, in the hope that the exercise will become a regular annual event.

“Last year each of team members adopted an enthusiastic approach to the event and by stepping outside their comfort zone they each grew in confidence and learnt how their own skills can positively contribute to a better team performance. The Army approach to leadership training is different to anything they can learn in a classroom and they all enjoyed the experience.

“We support a number of reservists working in RPS, have recently recruited service leaders and have found that together with their positive work ethic, team engagement and organisational skills, they bring a mature perspective to problem solving on our projects.”

Phil Crick, Head of Logistics at Carillion Rail, also attended the event. He explained: “Carillion is a major Defence contractor, we have a gold Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award and we have signed the Armed Forces Covenant which shows our commitment to supporting reserve activity and all other aspects of the Armed Forces in what they do.

“There was a moral obligation behind us signing the covenant for the people who look after our nation, as well as there being a very good business opportunity to employ highly motivated well-trained people. Any business wants motivated and well-trained employees, particularly when someone else provides the training for you and brings them up to a good professional standard.

“We have two people within the business going to Sandhurst this summer on an eight-week course and we are happy for these individuals to complete this training and pay them over this period, as we recognise this as a long-term benefit to the organisation.

“We had people from both the construction and services side of the business taking part in Exercise Martello Stretch who are based in different parts of the country. We want to highlight the benefits of reserve service and spread the skills of military-trained individuals across the business.”


"The Army approach to leadership training is different to anything they can learn in a classroom and they all enjoyed the experience."