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How David came to work at Travis Perkins after the Army

24 Nov

David joined The British Army in 1983 at the aged of 16. He enjoyed a varied career with the Light Infantry, serving in the Falklands, Belize, Canada, Germany and Northern Ireland, as well as closer to home in Bulford and Blackpool. After leaving the forces in 1994, his first job was in the building trade, a role that put him on the track to a career at Travis Perkins. Like many other ex-military colleagues at the Travis Perkins Group, David’s time in the Army gave him some essential skills and helped him get to where he is today. Here’s his story:

What brought you from The British Army to Travis Perkins?

It took me a few jobs after the Army before an opportunity at Travis Perkins presented itself. During my time in the Light Infantry I had the fortunate opportunity to complete courses in carpentry, painting and glazing, and this is what first piqued my interest in construction. So when I left, I chose to expand my skillset and started a resettlement course in dry-lining before taking a building job in the North of England.

After several years in that job I decided it was time for a change and I moved down south. As luck would have it, I found a position as Project Manager with an interior fitout company, looking after numerous projects including Williams Formula One. This was a lucky find for me because this role directly led me to my first job with the Travis Perkins Group. CCF happened to be one of my firm’s suppliers and after watching a colleague take a job at CCF Southampton, I soon followed suit and I’ve been working with the Group ever since.

What has your career path looked like since then?

I really enjoyed working in the Southampton branch but I later relocated back up to the North to work at the Travis Perkins National Sales Office in Carlisle. However, when I heard that CCF were planning to expand into Cumbria, I kept a close eye on developments. And sure enough, CCF opened a branch in Carlisle and I was delighted to be offered the role of Assistant Branch Manager (ABM).

During my time as an ABM I really enjoyed how varied my job was. My main responsibilities included supporting the Branch Manager with the general operations and running the branch. I remained involved with Health and Safety around the branch and assisted with sales, meaning that I got to spend a lot of time talking to customers and building relationships with them.

I’m approaching my 19-year anniversary working at CCF and I’m celebrating that milestone as a Transport & Operations Manager in Carlisle. Put simply, my role is about transport coordination. I’m responsible for all the vehicles and drivers working out of the branch and breaking this down it means I oversee booking transport, downloading the digital tachograph driver cards and arranging for the trucks to be serviced, MOT’d and repaired.

On the operational side, I’m involved in things like stock-takes and pre-audit checks in the warehouse. Another side of the job is stepping in as a relief driver, so providing cover for holidays and sick days. Though I love being in the branch, it’s great to get a change of scenery.

In other news, I’ve recently been signed off to help train cadets in the British Army and I’m looking forward to getting started!

What are the top transferrable skills you developed in the Army?

Whilst in the Army, my training way heavily centred around developing my management, leadership and self-discipline. These skills have proved invaluable in all my roles at CCF and have been essential for helping me progress into my current role. Since joining the Group, I’ve been fortunate to receive further management training as well as gaining job-specific qualifications such as First Aid.

Working at CCF has given me some fantastic opportunities to broaden my knowledge and develop my career. I’ve had the chance to get involved in making changes to how the branch is run, such as providing input into how our new yard should be built.

What’s your advice to anyone leaving the Forces and looking for a new career?

I’d definitely recommend CCF and the Travis Perkins Group. My advice would be: play to your strengths. Think about what you learnt in the Forces and how you can apply these skills to the different roles that are available. The Group has a lot to offer ex-service personnel from a wide variety of backgrounds – and it’s a great business to work for.

To hear about more of our colleagues who have joined after a career in the Army check out Jake’s story.

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