Partnering with the Armed Forces

Atkins has been working alongside the Armed Forces since the second world war.

Here, Dave Clark, who leads the company’s Aerospace and Defence business, explains why he thinks that partnership is important for veterans and reservists who are transitioning to a new career.

What is Atkins’ relationship with the Armed Forces?
We have a long and proud history of supporting the people and organisations that protect our national interests. We’re one of the largest providers of engineering and technical services to the UK’s Defence sector, and we’ve worked closely with many talented Service personnel over the years.

That’s why it makes sense for us to build on that relationship by opening our doors to people who are moving into civilian life. We already have more than 160 veterans, reservists and cadet officers working with us and they add extraordinary value to our business and to the service we can offer our clients. Read about just a few of our team members experiences across the page.

What skills and experience are you looking for?
We’ve found that people with military training often have strong leadership and management skills and are effective members of a team because they can unite others around an initiative. They’ve proven to be great coaches and work well under pressure. In many cases, they also have the technical skills a consultancy likes ours needs. 

For example, our cyber security experts are working with clients to protect our critical national infrastructure, that is our water, energy, transport, health and digital networks from attack. Our veterans, reservists and cadet officers offer unique insight into the threats they face and the steps our clients need to take to develop resilience. 

They also have an understanding of the challenges many of our other clients face and the environments they operate within. Obvious examples are our clients in the Defence sector. 

Having said all of that, our primary goal is to promote diversity within our business. We’re trying to address some of the world’s most critical challenges, from climate change to water shortages and even rapid urbanisation. If we’re going to do this successfully we need to attract and retain talented people from a wide range of professional backgrounds and we have to encourage them to come up with innovative solutions to these problems.

What does a career with Atkins involve?
There are a range of businesses within Atkins that people can join, for example:
• Defence
• Aerospace
• Rail
• Energy
• Management consultancy

People can work in a number of locations across the UK, in Europe or across the globe. They could also be working on some of the world’s most complex and highest profile engineering challenges. We currently have teams involved in a number of high speed rail projects, the civil nuclear industry in the UK and at some of the world’s busiest airports. We’re also part of the Aurora Engineering Partnership, alongside QinetiQ and BMT, which has been appointed by the MOD as the Engineering Delivery Partner for Defence Equipment & Support. 

It’s also important to note that if you start your career with us in Defence, for example, it doesn’t mean you have to end it there. There are opportunities to move into different parts of the business and work with a wide range of clients.

Will I be working from 9 to 5?
We give our people the flexibility they need to balance work and home life. We can offer flexible contracts so you can work term-time only or around school hours, for example. We also offer fixed-term contracts, which means spouses or partners can work with us for the duration of a military posting.

What extra support do you provide?
Five years ago, we signed the Armed Forces Covenant and were then recognised by the Ministry of Defence for our commitment to the Armed Forces community with a Gold Employer Recognition Award. Our internal Partnering with the Armed Forces programme was set up around the same time to coordinate our company-wide engagement and advocacy activities.

Since then, we’ve kept raising our standards and we’ve just won the large employer of the year category at the prestigious Heropreneur Awards. There’s a strong network of former Service personnel, reservists and cadet officers within Atkins. There are also 12 representatives based in our offices across the UK, from Exeter to Glasgow, and we also have designated representatives for the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and 170 Engineer Group of the Corps of Royal Engineers.

Who we are
Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies. Together, SNC-Lavalin, a global fully integrated professional services and project management company, and Atkins help our clients plan, design and enable major capital projects, and provide expert consultancy that covers the full lifecycle of projects. 

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