LEEA celebrates US & UK Armed Forces Day

LEEA celebrates US & UK Armed Forces Day - image

LEEA celebrates US & UK Armed Forces Day

In a special edition of LEEA’s YouTube channel, ‘Be my Guest…’ series, Jenny Eagle speaks to several members of LEEA to talk about its Military Transition Scheme (MTS), in support of ex-servicemen returning to civilian life.

Armed Forces Day, held in many countries around the world, is a chance for people to acknowledge all the men and women who work in the military, for their hard work and dedication in serving their nation.

The next event will be on May 20, in the USA and June 24 in the UK. To celebrate, LEEA chats to its members, who themselves come from the military, to talk about its Military Transition Scheme (MTS), which offers a free foundation course, supporting ex-servicemen and women who want to choose a career in lifting engineering.

As part of our special edition voxpop we chat to Dave Tucker, Senior Training Officer, LEEA; Tom Basford, ARTE (Advise Retain Transition Engage) Warrant Officer, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME); Dave Thomson, training manager, LEEA and Robert Rorison (Rory), Member Engagement Manager for Scotland, Northern England & Ireland, LEEA.

Tucker delivers training worldwide for the association and is also responsible for the MTS. Before joining LEEA, he spent 24 years with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) as a recovering mechanic, stepping out in 2014.

“The Military Transition Scheme is currently being revamped to meet the modern needs of both the association and service leavers. It's designed to help both members within the association and focus more on the service leavers themselves. So, service leavers, whether they are leaving the services due to timing out at the end of their contracts or for other reasons, have the opportunity to enlist onto our scheme within six months of leaving and the scheme remains valid for two years afterwards,” he said.

“It is designed to support worldwide leavers regardless of their experience, professional trades or arms. So, for example, based upon the United Kingdom's forces, it's open to both the Army, the Navy and the Royal Air Force.

“More information is available on the LEEA website itself, which is where the service leavers can enlist or enrol onto the system. That will then come directly to me for approval and once they're enlisted onto the program, they have two years to complete our foundation course, which is a certificate recognised around the world and the training is free.

“Once they have completed this training, they then have an opportunity to conduct any of the other LEEA advanced programs should they wish to, which are heavily discounted at current member rates.”

Basford currently serves in the core of REME at MoD Lyneham. The REME Association Job Agency (RAJA) was established in 1993 in support of REME personnel, transitioning soldiers and officers, whether they've ended their contract, they're running out or they've decided to put their notice in and go into their resettlement phase, which is a minimum of 12 months return of service.

“During that 12-month period they'll be able to conduct resettlement activities, engaging with all organisations, companies, attending career events and advertise themselves as open for work as part of their transition out into the civilian sector upon leaving the forces,” said Basford.

“At the top level is the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), to provide tri service resettlement, which includes the Army, Navy, RAF, and Royal Marines. In addition, you’ve got specific agencies and charities that work closely with the CTP and RAJA, and REME is a part of that.

“RAJA is supported by the REME charity, like all the other charities that support the other cap badges, the other services are the White Ensign, for example. For the Navy, you've got the RAF Benevolent Fund.

“We're only a two-person team, myself and Kirsty Bateman. So we'll support every single serving soldier or officer that's entered into their resettlement period and introduce them to RAJA. In addition to the great support that CTP provide.

“RAJA is unique because its engineering focused and that's where RAJA links in with LEEA.

So we've got vehicle technicians, vehicle mechanics, and recovery mechanics.

“The recovery mechanics are like the AA, the RAC to the British Army's fleet of equipment and vehicles, but a specialist role they also conduct is lifting inspections on our chains on the cranes, and on the shackles. All the lifting equipment that's used by the military our recovery mechanics deal with. Within LEEA there are ex REME and that’s where the link in supporting our service workers  exists.”

Thomson joined LEEA in 2012 and spent 23 years in the military as a recovery mechanic with REME. He served in units across the UK, Germany, Belize, and operational tours in the Balkans. 

“I was fortunate enough to go to a military event highlighting LEEA and the benefits of joining the association and what ex-servicemen can bring to the engineering industry,” he explains.

Robertson is an ex Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy. He served on submarines for 26 years before joining LEEA.

“When I joined the lifting industry, there wasn't what we call a Military Transition Scheme. I had to get a civilian company to pay for all my courses, but I would recommend to anybody leaving the Armed forces, or who is just about to leave, to go through LEEA’s MTS because this will give you a free foundation course. On completion of that, the world is your oyster. Companies are always looking for lifting engineers, so please consider it. I would highly recommend it.”

Click here https://youtu.be/2A8Koy87VOs to watch the video on LEEA’s YouTube channel.

back to articles

Need technical advice?

For technical advice on lifting equipment matters, email our Technical Services team. This service is free to members and we will reply within two working days.

Email Technical Advice
Armed Forces Covenant
BSI Mark
Association Excellence Awards 2019
Association Excellence Awards 2021
CPD Member