James Gill is a recruitment expert who’s been more than 15 years in the employment industry. In 2012 he set up First Class Technical Recruitment in the North East, which supports the sourcing of skilled technical and engineering personnel for industries that include the chemical, oil & gas, renewables and utility sectors.
In the business’s first year he has overseen agreements with six national clients, created employment throughout the region and now aims to build upon this initial success by doubling his firm’s workforce for a sector whose demand is growing.
Previously he harboured ambitions of dedicating his working life to the Armed Forces.
“Growing up, I always admired my grandfather. He served in the military,” he says. “This led me to aspire to one day join the Armed Forces myself. Since the age of 10 I was set upon a career in the Army.
“I passed the Regular Commissions Board Examination at 17, and following Newcastle University went on to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst with a commission in the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment ahead of me. However, an accident on a training exercise resulted in me being medically discharged.
“Until that fateful day there had been no doubt in my mind that I would spend my entire working days serving in the Armed Forces. In another life, this would have been so.
“Apart from my family ties, the military appealed to me for a number of reasons.
The nature of the job was something I was well suited for. I enjoyed the outdoor life, and the physical demands were challenges I looked forward to conquering. I also saw it as an admirable path to take in life. To serve your country provides a great sense of pride and satisfaction.
“After gaining a regular commission I would have been able to serve for 35 years, enabling me to follow my regiment around the globe on various operations. I can’t say with absolute clarity where I would have ended up due to the unpredictable nature of the job. But I would have liked to have taken an attachment to the Royal Signals had an opportunity arisen.
“I also believe that as time passed, and I became more experienced, I would have been well suited for a training position. Sharing the invaluable knowledge I would have gained while touring, and from potential posts in communications, was something I could have seen myself excelling in. It would have been a very rewarding role.
“Although my time was cut short, the time I did spend training in the Armed Forces provided me with some very useful training and life experiences. I forged a high level
of discipline, determination and, most importantly I became very resilient. This has served me very well going forward, as the employment industry is not for individuals afraid of rejection.
“After being discharged, I met a group of fellow ex-officers in the early ‘90s that had recently completed short commissions. They themselves were starting out in the recruitment industry and encouraged me to do the same. From then on in I haven’t looked back. I have now been successfully operating within the industry for more than a decade.”