Armed Forces Week: A Q&A with Steven Haines

At NMITE, we are proud to support the Veteran community and alongside our values of inclusivity, equality and diversity we look to further develop our understanding as to how we can continue our journey as an employer that provides further opportunities and next level support to all.

Steve Haines joined NMITE in April 2019 and currently leads NMITE’s schools outreach programme, Ingenuity Studios. Steve spent many years in the British Army as an Aircraft Technician, originally joining the forces on the 12th May in 1986 and officially leaving at the start of April 2011.

In recognition of Armed Forces Week, we had a chat with Steve on life after leaving the military, and how his engineering experience as an Aircraft Technician has helped to engage and inspire the future generation.

Why did you choose to join the British Army, and how easy was it for you transitioning out?

Joining the Army as an Aircraft Technician combined my two interests as a child, aircraft and the Army. My transition to civilian life was mixed, I missed the camaraderie that you get in the military, especially the humour and the social side of things. Workwise, after leaving the military I realised I actually had a lot of transferable skills such as; planning, organisation and management skills. The experience had also made me extremely adaptable, all these things, I believe, are actually very useful to civilian employers.

What came next for you?

After leaving the Army, I took up some contract work for the MOD delivering training as a subject matter expert on the aircraft maintenance software used by the MOD. I did this for around 7 years, before heading back to work on aircraft at a local airfield for the next year, the purpose of which was to help set up a new aircraft maintenance facility.

I joined NMITE in April 2019, and I wanted to join for several reasons. Firstly, a permanent job as opposed to contracting was instantly at the time more appealing to me, as was spending less time away from home, and secondly it certainly looked to be an interesting and rewarding job; to engage with children and show to them all of the areas engineering covers and what a career in engineering could lead to. I could really see myself being a part of that.

Have you found your past experience helpful when speaking with school-aged children who have taken part in NMITE’s outreach programme?

Having a background in engineering has definitely helped when working with children as part of NMITE’s outreach programme. I’ve found that I’ve been able to help give the children an understanding of the different types of engineering that are out there, and by me being there, it has given them someone knowledgeable to direct their questions around engineering. When children take part in our outreach challenges, I’ve been able to look at their designs from a practical point of view and give solid input to help better their understanding of the task at hand.

Is there anything you believe NMITE could be doing to further support the Veteran community?

I feel NMITE are already doing a lot more than what is usually expected of an educational provider, and offer a good amount of support to the veteran community by offering approved ILM Accredited CPD courses and liaising with local companies to help with their understanding of the skills a service leaver can bring to a company. I’m positive NMITE will continue to find ways to support the community, and I’m pleased to be a part of that.

Armed Forces Day is being celebrated virtually on Saturday 27th June 2020. For ways to get involved, head here and don’t forget to use the hashtag #SaluteOurForces on the day.

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