An army of former soldiers to help Centrica hit net zero

The energy giant has pledged to hire 500 former soldiers, sailors and airforce personnel as engineers

Achieving net zero is often seen as a battlefield where someone has to use all their special forces to deal with the rising challenges.

Centrica has announced a programme that aims to recruit as many as 500 former soldiers, sailors and airforce personnel into engineering roles across British Gas and the wider group by the end of 2023.

The scheme is believed to help Centrica deliver its net zero target.

Twelve ex-forces trainee gas engineers have begun their 42-week training.

One of them is Alex Smith from Wolverhampton, a former sniper based in Northern Ireland.

He was medically discharged in 2013 after being involved in two improvised explosive devices explosions during tours of Afghanistan, which damaged his hearing and eyesight.

After suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Mr Smith sees the programme as his route back to normality.

He said: “I have always wanted a trade and this offer was amazing. It’s a skill to be proud of which will give me stability in my working life to provide for my family and it opens up a lot of routes for progression into green energy.”

The Veterans Minister Leo Docherty said, “This is a fantastic initiative that will provide support to our service leavers and veterans by helping them find employment once they leave the military.

“I am delighted with the opportunity this provides to those who have served our nation’s military and recognises that the military gives you skills for life.”

Greg McKenna, Managing Director of Centrica Business Solutions, said: “The market for recruiting ex-forces has become increasingly competitive, but we plan to use our extensive heritage of delivering world-class training alongside dedicated support to bring on board the talent required to deliver on our net zero plans.”

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