Wednesday 31 May 2017
ITI Network Services project manager Rob Thompson grew up in a forces background: “my father was a Royal Engineer,” and the family spent many years in Germany when Rob was growing up.
Following his father’s footsteps Rob joined the Royal Engineers in 1999 and was a Sapper for 7 and a half years. His career in 39 Regiment involved engineering, infrastructure and technology support to the RAF; deployments to locations such as Qatar, Iraq and Afghanistan meant Rob was working in highly challenging environments.
“Qatar was probably the hottest place I’ve been to – so hot you could only work at night.”
But the work prepared Rob well for many of the projects he’s helped ITI to deploy:
“A lot of what I am doing now and have been doing since leaving the forces I learned in Army. Of course, ITI has supported my ongoing skills development since leaving, but the firm could immediately see my potential and value when they picked up my CV in 2006.”
Rob left the Army in 2006 in order to focus on home and family life – he’s married with 3 children. “Dave Newton [ITI’s Commercial Director - profile here] recruited me.
“It’s beneficial to ITI to take on former soldiers: historically, ex-forces personnel have an excellent mentality and work ethic. But the firm itself understands that it is very difficult for some ex-military folk to adapt to the civilian environment. Being ex forces myself, I fully understand what it is like to leave and I know it is difficult for some guys to adapt. ITI is highly supportive and helps to train and develop them.
“ITI also supports reservist soldiers, so that they have time and support to pursue their reserve activities. For example, in our stores, one of our storemen is an ex-signaller and one a current reservist, Tim, who was recently in the Falklands for a couple of weeks. We put measures in place to ensure we have cover.”