Sapper Perry Kingsnorth joined the Army as a Royal Engineer in 2015 and specialised as a Plant Operator. He has primarily been based at Kinloss Barracks near Elgin with 39 Engineer Regiment. Throughout this time, he has deployed on exercises and operations within the UK, Cyprus, USA and South Sudan, conducting a variety of plant-based tasks on numerous construction projects, often in unique and challenging environments.

Now in his final year of military service, Perry is concentrating on successfully transitioning back to civilian life, where he hopes to continue his career as a plant operator. In preparation for this new challenge, he has been participating in plant training to enable him to transfer his military plant qualifications to the civilian equivalents. The training was delivered by 71 Engineer Regiment, an Army Reserve unit, at their plant training area near Paisley. These two Scottish based “Sapper” Regiments already have a close working relationship, often mutually supporting one another through reserve soldiers deploying alongside their regular counterparts on operations or by the regular elements providing military training instructors and facilities.

Perry recently gained his National Plant Operators Registration Scheme (NPORS) accreditation, whilst attending the 71 Engineer Regiment training. The training has been planned and delivered by Warrant Officer Class 1, Stewart Vandal. Stewart is a long serving Sapper reservist, who is a vastly experienced and passionate in all matters involving plant. His commitment to reserve service has taken him all over the world, including an operational tour in Iraq and interoperability training with the US National Guard. In his civilian capacity, Stewart is an accredited NPORS instructor with Glasgow City Building and therefore uniquely qualified to deliver this qualification as part of military training.

There is little doubt the benefits collaboration between reserve and regular units brings for all involved. Preparing regular soldiers for return to civilian life and diversifying the talents within the Army reserves to best deliver defence for the country and all done safely in the challenging conditions set by Covid-19.

Perry is looking forward to his return to “Civvy street” and the NPORS qualification along with his IOSH management qualification, should help provide him a solid foundation he can build upon to expand into successful civilian plant career. Perry already aspires to one day being able to train others in plant operating and other related aspects of health and safety in construction.