From Iraq to Allcooper: Meet our new recruit
21 February 2018

From Iraq to Allcooper: Meet our new recruit

As part of a new recruitment initiative, we were delighted to introduce a former soldier to the Allcooper engineering team recently.

We are pleased to welcome Graeme McFarland into the company, who joined us at the start of February 2018 to take on a new challenge as a security systems engineer.

In his new role as an Allcooper engineer, Graeme will be responsible for installing and programming a range of electronic security systems to protect our customers' homes and businesses. Starting out initially as a trainee, he will be taking part in an ongoing training programme whilst also working alongside experienced engineers on a variety of sites.

With a strong background in private security and successful career in the British Army behind him, Graeme found an opportunity to join Allcooper through the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), a specialist recruitment organisation that provides resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines.

The CTP online recruitment website is aimed specifically at providing access to a range civilian career opportunities from companies looking to employ ex-service men and women. Regardless of time served, all members of the Armed Forces can benefit from CTP support. Graeme is first employee to join our team through the CTP service.

Michael Gilbert, CTP Employer Relationship Manager, said:

"The CTP is delighted to be working with Allcooper Group to offer employment opportunities to Service leavers. The ex-military pool provides a rich source of talent and we work with a wide range of individuals, from Early Service Leavers who bring with them core skills which are perfectly suited to apprenticeships, to highly skilled personnel with years of experience working in some of the toughest conditions in the world. Service leavers possess many transferrable skills that are well suited to roles in the security industry, including problem solving and adaptability, team work, health and safety awareness and leadership and management - to name just a few. We look forward to working with Allcooper and to match more Service leavers with their next roles."

We sat down with Graeme to find out more about his past experience, and his journey to find a new career in the security industry.

Welcome to Allcooper, Graeme! First of all, tell us a little more about your background...

"After I left school, I decided to join the British Army where I was part of 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment, based out of Dover. I was enlisted in the Army for six years in total, which included serving in the Iraq War (Operation Telic) during 2003. I also completed a tour of Northern Ireland (Operation Banner) in 2005."

"Following my Army career, I began working in private security where I specialised in close protection and Project Management, which I am fully-qualified to PRINCE2 standard."


What interested you about the security industry?

"I have worked in the private security sector for over 10 years, providing close protection services. This mainly involved managing a team of bodyguards to protect individuals within war zones, where the risk of attack was very high. It's a different kind of security to what Allcooper provides, however the intention is the same - to keep people safe."

"There are some similarities though, such as working with CCTV and using surveillance. This gave me an interest in the possibility of working with similar electronic systems."


What inspired you to apply for a career with Allcooper?

"My family and I are from Bristol, and having spent many years working abroad, I was looking a new challenge that was a lot closer to home. When I saw the job advertised at Allcooper, I was really interested in the opportunities for training, development and to transfer my experience into a new industry. I want to learn about the systems and how they work, so I can gain new skills and have a trade. It's great to be able spend more time with my family, now that I can get to or from work in around 45 minutes."

How are you getting on so far?

"I've been with Allcooper for just over a month now and have already learned a lot in a short space of time. I've been taking part in training since the word go, and have been gaining new skills and experience on-the-job by supporting the senior engineers. It's been great to be working with them on some large projects, which has given me a real insight into the technical side of things, and how a job runs from start to finish."


What are your plans for the future?

"To keep learning and progressing every day. I want to put all my effort into my learning so I can become a key member of the team and take responsibility for my own projects. I'm enjoying my time so far and looking forward to building on my career with Allcooper."


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