As a proud member of the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), Orbit has made a commitment that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
Orbit signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2017 and last year, received the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award from the Ministry of Defence in recognition of its support to the defence and armed forces community.
Orbit demonstrates this commitment through its work with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), who provide job opportunities to ex-armed forces personnel, and by advertising vacancies which match the skill set of those who’ve left the armed forces on their portal. Reservists are also supported with its ‘time off policy’, enabling colleagues to have time away from the business to carry out any required training without using their allocated annual leave.
Here, British Army Reservist and Senior Technical Co-ordinator for Orbit Homes, Tim Linnell shares his experience of combining his role with his military commitments as a Reservist with the Royal Anglian Regiment 3rd Battalion.
“I’ve always had an interest in the armed forces,” says Tim. “My late uncle retired as a Commodore in the Royal Navy and although he was a tremendous role model and inspiration to me, my dad owned a civil engineering and groundworks organisation so I ended up following in his footsteps rather than those of my uncle.
“Prior to joining Orbit Homes, I worked for a construction company working on a variety of developments from small schemes of large, executive homes, and larger developments of affordable homes for Housing Associations including Orbit.
“When the opportunity arose to join Orbit Homes, I already knew a bit about the organisation and felt that its values would align with my own. That was five years ago, and I’m now Senior Technical Co-ordinator for the Midlands, providing end-to-end support for our development sites, from providing technical assistance with pre-purchase land acquisitions, engineering, architectural and infrastructure design, planning and building regulations compliance, customer care issues and adoptions of new roads, accesses and sewers by the statutory authorities.
“The interest in the armed forces has always remained with me, but at the age of 37 I assumed it was too late for me to follow this dream until I got chatting with my cousin’s husband, an infantry battalion Captain for the British Army, who told me that I wasn’t too old to join the British Army Reserves.
“So, in August 2020 I took the first step to finally following my dream and applied. I passed selection, declared my oath of allegiance, and went on to complete my basic training in September 2021. I continued to complete my trade training and became a fully trained infantry soldier in March last year. I’m required to participate in a two-week deployment exercise each year to demonstrate and maintain my skills to ensure I can operate effectively should the call come. Orbit offer an additional five days paid leave to Reservists, so this really helps me to take the time out that I need to fulfil my commitments.
“I believe that Orbit benefit from the transferable skills I bring to my role as a result of my involvement in the Reserves – teamwork, focus, discipline and motivation to name but a few. Being able to fulfil this personal ambition whilst pushing my body both physically and mentally, allows me to bring my best self to work too.
“This year I’m hoping to complete Assault Pioneers training, as well as become a British Army Physical Training Instructor (PTI) and ultimately I’d love to get to a point where I can train new Reservist recruits.”
For more information about the support that Orbit offers as part of the Armed Forces Covenant visit here.