RAF veteran soaring at Stafford housebuilder is finalist in ex-forces awards

13 March 2020

A fast achiever in Stafford who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the RAF Regiment is in the running for a major award for his work at a national housebuilder.

Bovis Homes awards Rob Tarn
Bovis Homes' Rob Tarn 
Dunston-based Rob Tarn, newly-promoted senior safety, health and environmental manager at Bovis Homes – part of the newly-formed Vistry Group – has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Rising Star category of the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2020.

The awards – one of the world’s largest celebrations of military veterans in business – highlight the military-gained skills and qualities that have helped finalists achieve business aims, and recognises the organisations that have supported them.

Rob, who works at Bovis Homes’ Dunston Hall regional office, said: “I’m overjoyed at being
nominated for a British Ex-Forces in Business award, in the Rising Star category – it’s hugely
encouraging. Joining Bovis Homes and the housebuilding industry has been a huge learning
curve. I have been able to use skills I developed in the military and have very much enjoyed my transition into the business – it’s an impressive and rewarding company to be a part of and the opportunities for growth are there.”

Rob joined Bovis Homes in 2014, having just left the Armed Forces, where he had been a member of the RAF Regiment for five years and part of the Military Provost Guard Service, for four years.

He spent the majority of his time in the Queens Colour Squadron, serving on operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan and providing protection to ground troops and deterring enemy movement or attacks on camp.

Rob started on the trainee assistant site manager programme at the housebuilder’s Telford
development and after just nine months, with no previous construction experience, he was
appointed assistant site manager – a promotion that would normally take over a year to achieve.

A year later, Rob had established himself and was making great progress to becoming a site
manager. However, he decided that he would have more to offer the company as a health and safety advisor and, when a position became available, he applied and was selected.

Rob was one of only five employees in the FTSE 250 company, of 1,200 people, to receive an
internal award for outstanding achievement. This led to him becoming senior health, safety and environmental advisor – a new position created to stretch his potential and provide management responsibility over three colleagues.

Rob, from Shropshire, also volunteered to be a mental health first aider and successfully passed the course in 2018.

Bob Wolstenholme, health, safety and environmental director, said: “Rob has impressed me from day one. His hands-on experience combined with his determination to succeed and can-do approach was a breath of fresh air. Rob is without doubt one of the best up-and-coming professionals I have had the pleasure of working with.”

Thanks to Rob and his colleagues, Bovis Homes has achieved the highest award from the Ministry of Defence for supporting armed forces personnel – the first dedicated housebuilder in the industry to receive the recognition.

The housebuilder received the Government’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, last year, for a raft of initiatives, including providing employment opportunities and helping those connected to the military onto the housing ladder.

There are around 100 employees with ex-military backgrounds within the company, including site managers, technical staff and trainers. The business also offers discount schemes to help servicemen and women buy a home. Bovis Homes also offers mentoring and work placements to those with military backgrounds.

Two other Bovis Homes colleagues have also been shortlisted for an Ex-Forces in Business
award. Performance director Roger, a former Royal Engineer, is a finalist in the Military Values in Business Award category and ex 2 Para Alan Gilfillan, a site manager, is in the running for Outstanding Achiever of the Year.

The award ceremony takes place at Grosvenor House in London, on 25th September.