Richard is the Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Babcock in Plymouth. He is the Enterprise Adviser for Stoke Damerel Community College.
“I have a degree in law. I started my career working in Morrisons and then became a rep for Britvic drinks. I joined Babcock as a Senior Commercial Officer and did that for two years, looking after our contracts.
While I was doing this role I trained to become a mental health first aider and created a mental health awareness presentation that I delivered across the country for employees of Babcock. This started some conversations in the business and from this, my role was created.
It was interesting to see my career going in a direction that I never expected. I’m very passionate about it and think my work is valuable to the company; it feels meaningful because it makes a difference to people.
If someone is interested in getting involved in the engineering industry, I would recommend looking into our apprenticeships and graduate programmes. Spend some time finding out about what engineering is like these days as it is very different compared to 20-30 years ago! Our engineers use loads of new technology, including virtual and augmented reality.
The characteristics we value most in the business unit that I work in are collaboration, innovation, creating positive impacts, bravery, adaptability and respect and we love people who have the enthusiasm to try new things and go above and beyond.
When I started as an Enterprise Adviser, I met with the senior leadership team of the school and did a presentation to them to help get them on board with the programme. I then did a presentation for every year group, focusing on failure and resilience. It was really important for me to communicate to students that it’s ok to fail – you’re going to make some mistakes along the way! The students felt inspired, enthused and excited about the future.
Stoke Damerel is actually my old secondary school. Walking in as an Enterprise Adviser, I felt proud and my old teachers were proud of me too. I have a visual impairment and I received a lot of support from the school, which I’m really grateful for. Volunteering my time feels like a way for me to say thank you for this and their contribution to the person that I am today.
We all have a responsibility as businesses to give something back to the local community and develop the students who are the employees of tomorrow. Businesses will gain from the Enterprise programme too, it’s an opportunity to develop their people and people feel good about themselves for volunteering their time too.”