'I joined the army at 17 straight from school. I loved it, it shaped me and made me who I am today. I took what I learnt in the army into my civilian life and into my current role at BAE Systems. When I decided to leave due to a growing family, I wanted to move back to my home town area. BAE Systems is the biggest employer in Barrow, it’s the heart of the town, so I started to look at what opportunities they had available. In my transition period when leaving the army I chose to focus on health and safety as my next career, and the army then helped me get the necessary qualifications. I researched the business and spoke to friends that worked there, and it was an easy decision to make really, it was definitely the place for me.
I've been here for six years now. It's a really good company that cares about its people and provides all kinds of opportunities for development and growth. I've come a long way in that time, I'm currently studying and working towards a NEBOSH Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety which the business has funded, and the work is very rewarding. At Barrow, we design and construct the latest fleet of Astute class nuclear submarine which is currently in service for the British Royal Navy, which takes a lot of expertise and hard work. It's a proud moment when you see one launched. After my years in the army it makes me massively proud to still be playing a part in keeping our armed forces and civilians safe.
I work on site at the shipyard, it's a busy place with all sorts of innovative and challenging projects in development. I'm part of a close-knit team and we all get on really well, meeting up often on a social basis, as well as working together. I also get involved in our early career programmes. These days there's more females coming into the business on apprenticeships in what has been typically male-dominated roles, such as welders and steel workers. It's really good to see such diversity.
When I first joined BAE Systems, I had great support from my managers and colleagues. I was new to the industry and they gave me time, space, and advice to learn my role and help me be successful. I’ve been able to progress into different SHE roles in my six years here, and I’m looking forward to gaining more qualifications and realising my remaining career aspirations. I’ll always be a part of the BAE Systems family.’