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From the army to Civvy Street: LGV Instructor, Simon Roberts’ story

In the latest of our looks behind the scenes at Transport Training Academy, TTA is pleased to introduce you to LGV Instructor, Simon Roberts. Simon joined TTA direct from the Armed Forces where he served in the infantry for 7 years. It’s fair to say that in the time that Simon’s been with us, he’s made a really big impression. Here’s Simon’s backstory:

What did you do before you joined TTA?

“After leaving school in Sharples, Bolton, I was a tiler for a couple of years, then I joined the army as an infantry man. I served in the army for 7 years then I left the services and started to look for a new challenge.”

What did you do in the army?

“I was in the infantry. My main role was obviously combat and frontline fighting. I gained some of my earliest experiences of logistics and training there, getting first my Class 2 licence followed by my Class 1. After I left the army I did some resettlement training with TTA. I enjoyed the training experience at TTA and was both surprised and delighted when TTA asked in I’d like to join the training team working full-time. Naturally I didn’t hesitate in accepting the offer.”

So you moved straight from the army directly to Transport Training Academy?

“Yes, I was very lucky being able to do that. Not everyone has such good luck. I only took 4 days off after leaving service before I started my new job at TTA. It took me a while to get use to the fact that I was working in a completely different environment, but that passed quickly. I suppose it was just a matter getting used to the fact that my life had changed so dramatically. I know I was very lucky to move so seamlessly from one job to the other, I know, deep down, that I really did land on my feet. God must have been smiling on me.”

What’s it like to work at TTA?

“It’s brilliant. I really enjoy it. It’s obviously massively different from what I was doing in the army, but I still absolutely loving it. The added benefit is that I’m able to spend time at home every night, so that’s great too. That wasn’t always the case in the services.”

Did you find the rest of the group helpful and supportive when you joined the team?

“Definitely: everybody was great with me from the moment I arrived. They all made me feel welcome and were all prepared to give me help and encouragement if I was facing any difficulties or challenges. The relaxed atmosphere made settling in very easy for me. There’s a great team spirit here, and because it was so friendly and supportive, it meant that I actually looked forward to going into work in the mornings. Even after I’d finished work I’d have a chat with the rest of the team and hang around a while before going home. That’s something I’ve never experienced before with other jobs.”

So, any regrets about leaving the army and moving into logistics?

“No regrets whatsoever. I don’t believe in regrets. I soon found that I was far happier at TTA than I was during my last few weeks of service in the army, so what is there to regret? It was definitely the right move for me.”

What does the future hold for you at TTA?

“The Management team have given me some ideas about what I can do in the longer term and how I can develop. They wants me to go on and do my Transport Management Qualification and then go on to do my CPC so that I can teach other learners in different disciplines. So, all in all, I’ve got lots to look forward to over the coming years and that makes me very happy.”

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