News and updates

Taking the HighGround

Posted in: Company News
Date posted: 3 June 2019

We are delighted to be supporting HighGround, a charity that helps those who have served in the military move into careers in the land-based sector. Beneficiaries (“HighGrounders”) may have served as Regulars or Reservists, be in the process of leaving service or have left many years ago, either with or without an injury.

Bowler Oakfield has recently employed the services of Kate Philp who served in the Royal Artillery for 13 years before leaving to set up her own business. Having grown up in the countryside and spent much of her military service on Salisbury Plain, Kate is delighted to bring together her long-held interest in all things rural with her past and present careers by working with us in Marlborough and widening our CSR interests. With her military background and understanding of both sides of the transition, Kate is well placed to comment on the merits of the Charity’s work, as follows:

Why is this a good match? Those who join the Forces are predominantly outdoor people who thrive working in and with “the elements”, understanding the environment and how it both helps and hinders their work. Some are specialists, trained in a particular technical skill, others are generalists with a focus on planning, project management and leading the team. The land-based sector offers a variety of opportunities that appeal to both groups, from agricultural engineering to estate management.

Why is there a need? Transitioning into civilian life can be difficult, and employment, particularly finding a job that is part of a career path, is proven to help make that transition a success. Key to this is a sort of translation exercise – helping ex-military identify their transferable skills and experience, work out how these will map across into the land-based sector, and how to market themselves effectively, but also helping them understand the new language of “civvy street” by bringing to life the roles they might apply for and how to access them.

How is this need being met? HighGround has pioneered Rural Weeks, 5 fully residential days at an agricultural college that introduce the composite parts of the land-based sector, guidance on relevant training and qualifications, and may lead to volunteering or work experience. Bowler Oakfield is supporting the estate management module of the course, as well as the creation of an employment forum to be hosted on the HighGround website where employers can advertise job opportunities and HighGrounders can share their profiles.

Visit the Charity’s website here for more information and follow us both on social media to track our progress.