Lok was one of few selected from thousands of applicants to join the Gurkhas in 1993, Serving for 19 years and touring extensively in a number of roles, including vehicle servicing and maintenance. In 2008 he was awarded The Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. After leaving the Army he joined The Kings Ferry in 2015 which is part of National Express.
How was resettlement?
Despite all of my experience and skills, leaving the Army was still very daunting because I had Served for so long and had little experience of civilian job roles and dealing with customers. However, I think my Military service stood me in good stead for ﬁnding employment in civilian life because of the wide variety of experience I gained and also the range of skills I learned.
How did you get involved with The Kings Ferry?
Because of my driving experience, I was able to go straight into a driving role with The Kings Ferry which was fantastic. The company really values former Forces personnel because of our calm decision-making, self-discipline, work ethic, strong sense of duty and willingness to take on responsibility. I drive commuter services from Gillingham in Kent into the City of London. I carry people who need a quick, reliable and punctual service early in the morning (the ﬁrst service leaves at 5.20am!) to get them to work – which I love doing.
Do you ﬁnd yourself using any speciﬁcally Military skills at work?
My driving skills, acquired in the Army, enable me to handle the 40ft long coach, sometimes through tight spaces. Being a good driver requires a cool head as the roads can be very busy, especially driving into London in the morning – something which you learn in the Forces.
What’s your advice to other Service-leavers?
I would encourage Service leavers and especially Gurkhas, to think about a career with The Kings Ferry and National Express. They offer guaranteed interviews for all job roles, not just driving roles, and they are actively looking to recruit Service leavers. National Express understand and respect the skills and ethics being in the Forces give you so they will take that into consideration.
Do you miss the Military?
I do miss the Military; we enjoyed a great sense of camaraderie where everyone helped each other and we all felt part of a team. However, I enjoy this sense too with my current employer as all the drivers and operations staff look after each other and have a great laugh.
What’s the best thing about working at The Kings Ferry?
My favourite part of my job is picking up my passengers in the morning, giving them a smooth and quiet ride into the City and dropping them off safely at work knowing they’ve had a relaxing journey. We leave so early that they will often sleep through the journey, so the coach is very peaceful.
I really like the way in which the company has gone the extra mile to support former Forces personnel and I think they are an example to other employers.