Transport for London and its suppliers have committed to providing more than 100 new jobs to former members of the military as part of the agency’s wider work to support veterans and the services.
The new jobs are in addition to 27 posts already filled by ex-service members who TfL have helped make the transition back into full-time civilian employment.
One scheme beneficiary is John Wilson, a Traffic Controller at TfL, who lost both his legs after being hit by an IED whilst on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
He said: “I was medically discharged from the Army in 2014 and have struggled to find work because employers just look at me and think I won’t be up to the job.
“I was speaking to the Career Transition Partnership who told me about TfL’s scheme which sounded like a great opportunity. I was offered a place on the scheme and joined in January 2016. I’m now working in their Traffic Control team and I absolutely love it. I never saw myself working in an office but we’ve got a really good team who make every day enjoyable.”
Other support offered to current and former military members includes free travel on the Tube, bus and TfL rail networks for all personnel travelling in uniform and free travel for war veterans who hold a Veterans Oyster photocard.
London’s Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown, announced the new jobs at TfL’s annual Industry Day where he also signed the Armed Forces Covenant to formalise TfL’s commitment to the military.
Speaking after the event, Mr Brown said: “Our ex-Service placement scheme has been extremely successful, and we’re delighted that, together with our suppliers, we’re going to help even more former Armed Forces members back into employment.
“We have an engineering skills shortage in the transport industry and the scheme is helping us benefit from the skills these brave men and women gain during their careers in the Armed Forces. ”
Brown was joined for the signing by Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, Mark Lancaster TD MP, who said: “TfL is already a strong supporter of our Armed Forces community, offering free travel to serving personnel in uniform and free travel for veterans through the Veterans Oyster photo card. This support makes a real difference.
“And now, having signed the Armed Forces Covenant, they are making a commitment to continue and grow this support – for example, offering TfL insight days for ex-service personnel, offering assisted entry routes into TfL and increasing support for their Reservists.”
TfL suppliers who’ve joined the agency in pledging jobs for ex-Service members include Siemens PLC, Imtech ICT Ltd, Telent Limited, Cubic Transportation systems, Ringway Jacobs and CSC.
Niall Ahern, Employment Engagement Director at the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Greater London, commented: “TfL already shows great support for the Armed Forces family, recruiting service leavers, supporting Reservists, providing discounted travel for the Armed Forces and pulling out the stops to back the Poppy Appeal.
“It’s great to see Commissioner, Mike Brown, taking that support a step further by signing the Armed Forces Covenant and backing that up with a set of concrete promises for further action.”