A military sapper who works as an electrician with the Royal Engineers has said a work placement with two of the MoD’s maintenance providers was the “most beneficial three weeks of his trade career”.

Sapper Luke Beebe, of 26 Engineer Regiment, took part in the placement with BJF Group and VIVO Defence Services in June – the second they have run this year for the Royal Engineers.

During the three-week work placement, he worked alongside another electrician from 22 Engineer Regiment, and an air conditioning and refrigeration fitter from 26 Engineer Regiment.

The three spent their time with BJF Group engineers and Project Managers at a number of sites in the South West of England.

Having successfully led a similar initiative in early 2023, BJF Group and VIVO were delighted to welcome the second intake of service personnel to the sites where they provide Facilities Management Services for the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

During their placements, the Engineers completed over 300 jobs of varying degrees of complexity ranging from leaking taps to boiler servicing and repairs.

This gave them a valuable opportunity to hone their trade skills whilst gaining an appreciation of managing the challenges associated with a real-world environment.

Sapper Beebe, an Electrician with 26 Engineer Regiment said of his time:

“This was the most beneficial three weeks of my trade career. I have been able to gain more confidence in my trade and have learnt a lot from the BJF Group team.”

Staff Sergeant Myles Purchase, 26 Engineer Regiment added:

“This kind of work not only provides valuable pre-deployment training for Service Personnel but it also provides good opportunities for anyone leaving the armed forces or applying for a Clerk of Works course.”

BJF Group is a first-tier supply chain partner for VIVO Defence Services on the south west Built Estate at UK military bases and both are committed to doing as much as possible to support those currently serving in the armed forces to gain valuable civilian work experience.

In addition, VIVO has committed to a target of at least 20 per cent of its new recruits having a military connection and to provide a guaranteed interview scheme for armed forces leavers.

The placements, at HMS Sultan and HMS Collingwood and HMS Excellent, were designed to help those taking part gain real civilian work experience in their respective trades while working within surroundings that are familiar, strengthening their CV’s and giving them a head-start when they eventually leave the armed forces.

Jerry Moloney, Managing Director of VIVO Defence Services, said:

“We provide facilities management and maintenance services to the British military and its partners and are committed to helping past and present members of the UK’s armed forces.

“We are really pleased that BJF Group, one of our Tier 1 contractors, were able to provide this support following our successful joint work placement scheme at the beginning of this year as we want everyone at our organisation, as well as all our suppliers and contractors, to share our values of helping military personnel as well as veterans.”

Barry Foster, Managing Director of BJF Group said:

“Supporting service personnel is hugely important to BJF Group. Initiatives like these are a key way that we can offer something meaningful and valuable to those serving in the Armed Forces.

“As was the case with our first intake of placements earlier on in the year, we have had a very positive response from everyone involved from BJF Group, VIVO and the Engineers that took part.

“I am delighted that we have been able to build on our successes with these initiatives and look forward to continuing them with more military personnel in the future.”