Resettlement success

“For Military Personnel looking into a career in arboriculture, they will find it hard work but very rewarding,” says Paul Garner, an ex-army reconnaissance sergeant.  “If you enjoy working outdoors, this could be the career for you.  The training itself was a very refreshing experience, it was physically demanding but I was already quite accustomed to that and overall it was very enjoyable.”

Paul Garner, from Sheffield, served for 24-years with the Royal Engineers.  He started an army resettlement course in 2007, in order to gain civilian qualifications for a career in arboriculture when he left the army.

He chose arboriculture because the idea of working outside as part of a time of like-minded individuals appealed to him.  The role of an arborist draws parallels with the requirements of the military – it involves problem-solving, often in challenging environments, and undertaking physically demanding tasks as part of a close-knit team, making it an attractive vocation to service leavers.

Paul used his resettlement grant to pay for a course which covered all of the training he required, including his chainsaw qualifications (CS30, 30.1, 21, 38, 39 and woodchipper) and business studies.  Paul has gained his CS40, 41, 45 and 47 whilst working in the industry, as well as levels 1-3 Certificates of Competence in Utility Arboriculture, enabling him to carry out work beside overhead powerlines.  Paul also completed a LOLER examiner course in 2014.

He completed his resettlement training through Kingswood Training in Kent, an ELC approved training provider for arboriculture.  Standard learning credits, enhanced learning credits, resettlement interviews and training in interview techniques were also available to Pau as part of his resettlement package.

During his military career, Paul also gained several qualifications, including demolition safety office, watermanship safety officer and site safety officer, that provided him with a better understanding of the health and safety procedures used within the arboriculture industry and experience putting health and safety policies into practice.

After completing his training, Paul was employed as a climber for LJ Timber.  He worked with the Sheffield-based company for two years before becoming a climber/permit holder for UPM Tilhill.  He joined Fountains as a team leader three-years later in 2012 and took responsibility for a team of arborists managing vegetation around all voltages of powerline on the NPG network.

Paul has been working in the arboricultural industry for almost eight-years.  His most recent position is with green space management specialist, Glendale.  He joined Glendale in January 2015 as a service delivery manager for the company’s contract with Western Power Distribution (WPD).  He covers the South Lincolnshire area and is responsible for vegetation management on and around overhead powerlines.

The role allows Paul to use his experience in organising and leading a workforce, including sub-contractors.  As well as administering, planning and costing all work including out-of-hours call outs.

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