We spoke to Laura Blair, ex-Army Officer now Head of Centrica’s Forces Pathway, about her journey since leaving the military, and why Centrica is on a mission to hire talent from across the Armed Forces community.
What’s your background in the military?
After university, I completed my officer training, joined the Army and enjoyed 12 years in personnel roles that took me around the world – from Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Cyprus, Germany. What I learnt about being in the army, is that regardless of rank, people have incredible transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership, creativity, resilience and an ability to think outside the box. That’s what makes ex-service personnel so attractive to employers.
What was your journey into civilian life like?
Exciting and nerve-wracking. Since leaving I’ve had some really rewarding jobs including Director of Employment for the Officers Association, Head of Client Development for Maynard Leigh Associates, and gained my Qualified Teacher Status. I now work for the energy company Centrica, as their Head of Ex-Forces Pathway. I met my current boss at a book launch, which shows the power of networking!
Why Centrica as a career?
We’re interested in hiring talent from the Armed Forces community – Service Leaver, Veteran, Reservist and Military Spouse, Partner – senior to junior hire. To drive towards Net Zero, we need the best team – a diverse mix of people and skills, where different ideas can grow, and where everyone can succeed. The diversity of experience that exists within the Armed Forces is something we want to tap into. We provide the opportunity to gain a new, rewarding career and have a variety of roles routinely available, from Regional Director to Project Manager. We’re also trialling a six-month paid Military Leadership Placement, with opportunities thereafter for permanent employment. Centrica also knows that the transition from the military isn’t always easy. Therefore, we have a focused package of support, superb benefits, a well-being package and a Flexible First Working Policy. You can also be allocated an Ex-Forces Oppo buddy when you join and become a member of our 400-strong internal Ex-Forces Network.
Why is Centrica sponsoring Women into Employment 2023?
Boosting the representation of women across all levels and roles within our company is key and supports the drive to Net Zero. Centrica is on a massive growth trajectory; we want to engage with and hire from the vast female talent pool that exists across the Armed Forces community. Additionally, Forces Employment Charity is one of our key partners; Centrica wants to support the fantastic work FEC does, with our Forces Pathway regularly engaging with its fantastic UK-wide Veteran employment programmes.
Get involved and view all upcoming events here.
What would you say to anyone leaving the Forces?
Consider the energy sector and Centrica as a career. Climate change is the greatest threat facing society and we’re at the forefront of the need to respond. The future is Net Zero!
For more information on Centrica Forces Pathway: Armed Forces Pathway | Centrica plc