Royal Navy veteran Rob Lockyer is utilising his knowledge and experience by supporting and giving back to other veterans who need support in gaining additional skills and training leading to employment.
Liverpool veteran Rob left the Royal Navy last month after 42 years’ service and has taken on a new role as training and employment specialist at veterans’ charity Launchpad.
Rob will support residents living at Speke House in Liverpool to develop personal action plans by assessing their needs, identifying suitable training and educational courses and engaging with potential employers and training providers to encourage them into employment.
It’s a new role the charity has created and will see Rob supporting up to 50 resident veterans living at the house as part of their transition to civilian life.
His role will vary depending on the requirements of each resident but his responsibilities include helping them to create CVs, prepare for interviews, delivering health & safety courses at the house and attending job fairs with candidates. The charity believes his role will propel residents into employment, which in turn provides focus and stability and confidence to move on and live independently.
Rob, who is born and bred in Liverpool, joined the Navy in 1981 as a Marine Engineering Mechanic. Over the years, he has completed several tours of the Falklands, deployments in the South Atlantic, the Adriatic during the Bosnian Conflict and the East Coast of the United States.
In 2003, Rob transferred to the Naval Careers Services as a careers adviser and became office manager in 2013. His daily job involved recruiting, testing, interviewing and selecting personnel wishing to join the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
In 2016, he secured promotion to Warrant Officer and moved into a new post as RN Digital outreach careers adviser and became the area recruiting manager for Greater London & South East, covering Brighton, Guildford, Portsmouth & Southampton AFCOs.
Prior to leaving service, he worked as a regional engagement team leader in a project manager role for the Naval Regional Command Northern England and Isle of Man, covering all public military events in England, North of Chester and Grimsby.
Commenting on his new role at Launchpad, Rob said:
“42 years service is a long time and I’ve gained a lot of experience and knowledge over the years working in many different roles. I knew when the time came to leave the military, I wanted to find a job or a role that would enable me to give something back and this job at Launchpad is fantastic.
“For me, it’s about supporting other veterans and helping them to develop the skills they need to secure employment and move on to live independently. What a great opportunity.
“I’m only a couple of weeks’ into the role and have already seen the impact I’m having on residents. It’s about getting them onto a path or a journey with a purpose at the end which is to secure employment. Sometimes, residents just need some guidance and coaching – a focus which will occupy their time to help stimulate and develop.”
Over the last couple of weeks, seven residents from Speke House have been attending tailored sessions from the IGNITE employability programme delivered on-site by partner Equans. The course helps to raise veterans’ aspirations, self-motivations and resilience while providing them with the skills and knowledge to support their career development.
Sam Jackson, Manager of Launchpad’s Speke House, said:
“On average, over the last five years, 41% of residents gained employment whilst residing at one of our three houses. It’s proven that if residents can gain additional skills and training and go on to secure employment, it gives them something to focus on. With stability and structure and a regular income, residents gain confidence which in turn prepares them to move on when they are ready.
“This is a new role that we have created to support our residents at Speke House and I’m delighted to welcome Rob to the team. I’m confident with his experience and career knowledge, he will provide dedicated support and spend time creating new links and partnerships with organisations and training providers.”
90% of the veterans who arrive at Launchpad are homeless and are supported for up to two years (longer if necessary). Now in its tenth year of operation, the charity provides accommodation and support, with the help of specialist providers, to support homeless veterans who have fallen on hard times and have found the transition from military to civilian life difficult.
Speke House provides accommodation for up to 50 veterans and since 2013, over 615 veterans have been supported across all three houses in Liverpool, Newcastle and Durham.