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Ben Hayler, Graduate Building Surveyor, Atkins

Ben

Graduate Building Surveyor

About Ben’s role at Atkins

I joined Atkins in September 2013 as a graduate building surveyor at Faithful+Gould. My role involves offering our clients building surveying services and project management expertise.

About Ben’s role as a Reservist

My father was in the Royal Navy so I’ve always been interested in the Armed Forces. I’ve been an Army Reservist since October 2002 and hold the rank of Captain.

I work closely with the RAF and US Air Force on a regular basis, calling in air strikes and close air support for the Regular Army. This typically involves dealing with very senior army officers who are often surprised that we’re Reservists rather than Regulars.

The Armed Forces is a very different environment than civilian life, but it’s one I’ve grown quite used to. I’ve had several opportunities to go on exercises around the world including America, Canada and throughout Europe. During my time I've been deployed to Afghanistan twice. On top of this, and the comradery, there are lots of opportunities for adventurous training including mountaineering. It’s a great hobby and after 12 years it’s still something I continue to enjoy and get a lot from.

It is however something that you need to carefully balance. As a second career you must manage it in parallel with both your family commitments and your day job.

About Atkins’ approach to Reservists

I wasn’t aware of Atkins’ Reservist-friendly approach when I initially agreed to join the company but it became apparent when I was reading through the contract documents and, as a Reservist, this certainly made the role far more appealing.

My experience as a Reservist at Atkins has been positive and no one has made note of it. Given the time I need to undertake my additional training as part of the Reserve requirement, I’ve had no troubles. Even though I have not been mobilised while working at Faithful+Gould, I have no doubt that the company would support me before, during and after returning from a tour of duty.

People who have that military ethos tend to possess a natural drive and are experienced working with different people in fairly stressful situations and this is of obvious benefit to Atkins. Equally we’re trained to use our initiative, work our way through a problem and find a way to achieve objectives and that resourcefulness is key in any job. As such I believe I draw on my training on a daily basis, specifically around organising my time, focusing on the task at hand and achieving the desired result.

Due to our annual Reservist training commitment and the chance of mobilisation, I think it’s very important for employers to have clear support and procedures in place for their Reservist staff and Atkins does. I’m also very pleased that the company has signed the Armed Forces Covenant and I’ve no doubt that this will help to attract Reservist and ex-military personnel to Atkins.

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