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Military pathway opens door for former Royal Engineer's dream job

PC Christopher Wagstaff alongside PCC Caroline Henry at his passing out parade

PC Christopher Wagstaff alongside PCC Caroline Henry at his passing out parade

It was in a doctors’ waiting room that one of Nottinghamshire Police’s newest recruits discovered a route into his dream job.

PC Christopher Wagstaff was still serving in the bomb disposal unit within the Royal Engineers when he read about a way to join the force after more than 11 years in his previous role.

Things quickly progressed and he was soon taking time out from a family holiday in Turkey, with everyone else relaxing around the swimming pool, to dial in to Zoom calls along with others interested in following his path.

The married dad-of-two was able to make the move after Nottinghamshire Police and the University of Derby launched the country's first scheme to provide a direct employment pathway for those in their military resettlement period to join the police service.

It was set up to harness the skills and values that servicepeople possess, which align strongly with core policing principles of duty, service and protecting the public.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry played a pivotal role in bringing together the former policing Minister Kit Malthouse, former Veterans’ Minister Leo Docherty and former Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford to work together to make the scheme a reality.

Commissioner Henry, who was in attendance at PC Wagstaff’s passing out parade, said: “Hearing Chris’ story at his passing out parade showed the value of the trailblazing military pathway here in Nottinghamshire.

“The skills that people like Chris bring with them make a real difference while they are out serving the public and keeping the people of Nottinghamshire safe.

“People may be aware that this is personal for me as my husband was in the military for 26 years and through my work with military charities I have developed a passion for supporting those in the armed forces.”

PC Wagstaff was one of six officers to pass out at Nottinghamshire Police’s Force Headquarters in July, and has since been part of a response team helping policing colleagues respond to emergency and non-emergency calls from members of the public.

This followed being fast-tracked through year one of the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).

Upon completion of the PCDA, the recruits will graduate and become fully-fledged police officers with Nottinghamshire Police.

“If the military pathway hadn’t been set up then there is no way I would be a police officer now, and I would have still been in the army,” he said.

“I think the pathway is great because you’re going from one large organisation to another, and you know there is support there if you need it.

“You’re not falling into that trap of leaving the army and finding a job after. People tend to have all these plans but don’t implement anything, whereas with this you’re already linking to the new job before you’ve left the military.

“I joined the army in 2013 and was in there for nine years, but it got to a point where I wanted to challenge myself at something different.

“As well as that I’ve got my wife and my two children to think about, so to be away for quite a while like I was became challenging. To come and do the job I’ve always wanted to do, and be going home at the end of every shift is a massive bonus.”

If you are interested in joining Nottinghamshire Police, you can check out the force’s careers page HERE.

Posted on Thursday 7th September 2023
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