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Stansted Airport teams up with Army to trial new military placement scheme

Staff Sergeant Lisa Rokoyadre (left) with Anita Harrison, London Stansted’s Head of Security, in the terminal building (10710976)
Staff Sergeant Lisa Rokoyadre (left) with Anita Harrison, London Stansted’s Head of Security, in the terminal building (10710976)

Stansted Airport has launched a unique partnership with the armed forces by trialling a military placement scheme.

The initiative, in conjunction with Colchester barracks, provides serving personnel with civilian work experience.

The first of its kind at a UK airport, the scheme will also enable airport operations teams to benefit from the Army’s specific skills and expertise in key areas such as project management and working in high-pressure environments.

In 2017, Stansted became the first airport in England to pledge support for the armed forces community and its families by signing up to the UK Armed Forces Covenant. Last year it was awarded the Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award to reflect its support for serving and ex-military personnel and reservists.

Liz Austin, human resources director at the airport, said: “London Stansted places a big emphasis on supporting our local community, and what better way to do that than helping those who serve their country?

“We're extremely proud of our close and successful relationship with the armed forces, and we’re delighted Staff Sergeant Rokoyadre has been able to join us at London Stansted to support our busy operation and share with us her outstanding skills while seeing first-hand what goes on behind the scenes to keep the airport running smoothly.”

Staff Sergeant Rokoyadre said: “The opportunities for serving military personnel to engage with commercial organisations such as London Stansted are rare but very significant. I was fortunate enough to be considered for this placement to represent the armed forces and my unit, 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, RLC.

“The project I'm currently supporting has given me elements of both personal and professional development. My management skills, coupled with my experiences of training and operational environments within my organisation, have been fundamental to this role, where I can apply them within a civilian environment.

“The experience will be a breath of fresh air to my military career and hopefully I can implement and improve some of the working processes. It’s also provided ‘a look at life’ within the civilian sector as ultimately, at the end of my military career, I hope to make a smooth transition to civilian employment.”

Major Lindy Hayward, of 13 Air Assault Support Regiment, said: “External placements in industry form part of the Army’s Maximising Talent initiative, which aims to provide military personnel with exposure to civilian industry in order to develop and broaden their knowledge, skills and experience.

"We're very excited about the opportunity provided by Stansted Airport to embed one of our senior non-commissioned officers (SNCOs) within a project implementation team.

“I'm confident that Staff Sergeant Rokoyadre will be able to add value to the team, given the raft of experience she has planning for military training and operations, and I look forward to seeing her return to service with a fresh perspective and some recommendations as to how we can improve our working processes in line with civilian best practice.”

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