As National Apprenticeship Week draws to a close, we continue our celebration of some of our ex-military employees who are gaining new qualifications through our career pathway programme.

Today, we introduce you to James Stedman, one of our Project Managers working out of Hythe Ranges in Kent who has recently enrolled in his second apprenticeship for an HNC in Construction Management.

Here’s James’s story:

Pictured above: James Stedman, Project Manager in the South East.

“When I joined the Army at 16 as a young school leaver with only a few qualifications, I never thought that I would be heading up mission-critical projects for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation here at Landmarc!

“But here I am – just starting out on my second apprenticeship with Landmarc. This will give me valuable skills and a qualification in construction principles for when I’m negotiating with our contractors and partners on new infrastructure projects on the Training Estate.

“It’s fair to say that military training is in my blood.  I served with the army for 26 years, finishing my career in the Small Arms Schools Corps (SASC), where I instructed infantry weapon trainers.  From there I moved on to the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, the special armed police force responsible for providing law enforcement and security at nuclear sites across the UK before gaining a new role in 2013 here on the Hythe Ranges working for the DIO as a Deputy Training Safety Officer.

“This gave me my first real insight into the wide variety of work that Landmarc oversees on the Training Estate, It was through working closely with members of the Landmarc team, that I learnt just how much the company invests in developing staff to help them improve their skills and gain new qualifications.

“I was delighted when a role as a Team Manager became available and I was able to join the Landmarc team myself, quickly being offered the opportunity to complete a Level Four Project Management apprenticeship.

“With those new skills under my belt, I was able to then move across to the project team, a role I’ve now been doing for the past two years.

“If you talk to most veterans, you’ll find that we’ve all had similar experiences when transitioning to a civilian career.  We often get pigeon-holed, because many employers don’t understand the unique blend of skills we possess and what these can offer to a business. This can leave many veterans with so much to offer, but finding they only have access to opportunities that are limited to security or driving roles for example.

“In my ‘second’ career, I feel very fortunate and it’s clear to me that life at Landmarc is a win, win situation!  I’m a firm believer in lifelong learning, and the company feels the same. They truly understand the value that upskilling and adding new experiences can bring to the business.  It’s through the encouragement of my line managers and colleagues, as well as a very supportive family that I have found myself in the fortunate position to now be able to study for an HNC. I couldn’t be happier.”