The Forces Employment Charity’s Careers in Energy event brings valuable insights for the military community

Careers in Energy, one of the Forces Employment Charity’s sector-specific events took place on Wednesday 28 February. Hosted by Jacobs, London, Service leavers, veterans, reservists and family members were introduced to demystify and be given a complete overview of the Energy sector, as well as introductions to 15 leading companies within this industry. 

Careers in Energy – a hybrid event  

The event, run in hybrid format welcomed guests from countries including the USA, Germany, Poland and Vietnam. Whilst these delegates couldn’t be there in person, they could still send in questions real-time to the themed panellist discussions, and take part in the virtual sessions including polling software, Menti. The eProgramme also provided live links through to speakers’ LinkedIn accounts for enabling online networking and is something to be continued for future ‘Careers in…’ events.  

Careers in Energy brought together energy companies to promote: 

  • their own military/pathway programmes 
  • what they offer 
  • how they differentiate from others 
  • timelines for applications to the programmes and other direct entry opportunities. 

Insights into lived experiences 

Delegates had the opportunity to network throughout the day; especially with those who are veterans and already working with companies, sharing their own lived experiences. Talking to different employers, HR partners and hearing about their military programmes — all under one roof, offered a unique experience. 

Gold sponsor, Centrica was present alongside silver sponsors, Chevron and Mott MacDonald – and bronze sponsor, Octopus Energy; all provided key speakers as the day unfolded. 

Opening words 

James Nash, Head of Sector for Energy and Power, Jacobs opened proceedings at Careers in Energy and underlined how energy is essential to our lives. Acknowledging that with a huge focus globally on decarbonisation, clean energy and a drive towards net zero, there is a skills shortage in the UK to support energy transition targets. 

The sector is one of growth, with longevity and career investment a priority. Skills which veterans and the wider military community bring such as leadership, teamwork, adaptability and problem solving are very attractive to employers. 

Our gold sponsor Centrica highlighted the drive in the engineering space and encouraged the community to bring their diversity to the sector. 

Laura Blair, Head of Centrica’s Armed Forces Pathway shared: 

“Centrica is delighted to be the gold sponsor of Careers in Energy; it was really important for us as a FTSE100 energy services and solutions company to get involved in events like this with the Forces Employment Charity. 

“It’s a real opportunity to engage with and tap into Armed Forces talent, whether that’s a Service leaver, veteran, reservist or military family member.  Centrica as a company recognises the vast and varied skill set that anyone from the Armed Forces can bring to business. 

“The energy sector is a really interesting place to work at the minute, particularly because of the drive to net zero – and for the drive to net zero, we need diversity of experience within our workplace – and that exists within the Armed Forces community in spades.” 

Employers at Careers in Energy 

Delegates met with 17 different employers: 

The Forces Pension Society was also in attendance to be on hand for any military pension advice. 

Forces Employment Charity CEO, Alistair Halliday said: 

“This really was a fabulous event to be present at. It was wonderful to see so many talented Service leavers, veterans and spouses in the room engaging so effectively with some great energy sector employers. The atmosphere was buzzy and businesslike, and it was clear that everyone left with a much clearer idea of the many roles and opportunities in this vibrant sector. 

“Moreover, the employers were clearly impressed by the quality of the military talent available. It is so uplifting to be able to provide support like this, to improve awareness and understanding and increase the chances of our clients to reach their full potential, while ensuring more employers are motivated to offer great roles to ex-Forces people.” 

Veteran, Tom Hunt added: 

“Most of us from a young age wanted to serve in the Armed Forces from a young age, so we have not really looked at any other kind of job. Coming to things like this and just hearing from Service leavers themselves, who are now in senior roles in the energy sector, has helped me to think that it’s achievable and it’s quite encouraging to see that.  

“Getting to chat with the speakers and learn what roles are available fires our imagination more than you think.  

“Just keep an open mind. Bear in mind what your strengths are and try to play to those, but also keep your mind open as to what you find interesting.” 

Military Spouse, Julia Barr – Commercial Manager at Mott MacDonald added her reflective thoughts to the day’s events: 

“It’s been really fascinating to see all the different sectors and just to see how broad the energy industry is and the opportunities that there are.  

“Military spouses have a bit of a history of being either underemployed or unemployed to a much greater extent than the general population. And yet there’s a whole raft of skills that are sat there at home that can be used in this kind of industry and other industries as well. 

“I see myself as being there to showcase to both the military kind of partners and family community that it is possible to find balance between work life and family.” 

Keep updated on future events 

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Snapshot of future events: 

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