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​Q&A with Jon Miles: Orion's New Business Development Director

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We are thrilled to introduce Jon Miles, our new Business Development Director at Orion. With a wealth of experience and a dynamic approach, Jon is set to drive our growth and innovation in the Energy Industry. To get to know him better, we sat down with Jon for an insightful Q&A session where he shared his career journey, industry insights, and his vision for the future of energy.

Join us as we delve into Jon’s professional background, his thoughts on the current energy landscape, and what excites him most about his new role at Orion. From his strategic initiatives to his perspective on emerging trends, Jon provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of energy and business development.

Read on for an engaging conversation below with Jon Miles, and discover the passion and expertise he brings to our team.

​Q: Can you tell us a bit about your background and experience in the energy industry, particularly in oil & gas and nuclear power?

A: I initially focused on contract recruitment within oil & gas and offshore wind. I was fortunate enough to be heavily involved with resourcing for the Greater Gabbard offshore wind project from the day I started my recruitment career in 2010. Over a 9 year period I have supported many clients with scaling up their engineering operations on numerous multi billion dollar projects.

Over recent years I have focused more on permanent staff recruitment within the nuclear and utility sectors. I have worked closely with developers, EPC’s and OEMs at all stages of development including new build, construction, operations and maintenance and decommissioning. Operating in highly regulated industries that require very specific skills sets presents challenges which I love tackling!

Q: What excites you most about joining our company and what are your initial goals in your new role as Business Development Director?

A: I was massively impressed with the people I met during the interview process. Clearly passionate about the recruitment industry and proud of the business they had help create. My perception of Orion has always been positive, and I know that view is shared by the temp / contract workforce that have engaged with the business over the years.

My goals are to strengthen relationships with our existing clients, expand our client base and help improve recruitment efficiencies within the group. Orion’s footprint within the energy sector is undeniable. A 30+ year old business born from oil and gas which is still heavily involved with exciting, high value projects within the sector. Over recent years Orion has become a major player within the wind, solar PV & BESS, carbon capture and now hydrogen sectors. How is that not exciting?! Sectors that I am passionate about and have previous experience in developing.

Q: From your perspective, what are the biggest challenges and opportunities currently facing the energy industry, specifically in the oil & gas and nuclear sectors?

A: I am a strong believer that the oil and gas & nuclear sectors have a huge role to play within the context of energy transition. Oil & gas has been the backbone of driving industrial growth around the world for decades, providing a stable and reliable source. I believe it has an important role to play whilst renewable technologies scale up. Investment in R&D by oil and gas companies in recent years has lead to massive advancements in cleaner technologies, such as carbon capture and storage and hydrogen production.

When people think about renewable energy they most often picture a wind turbine. To realistically achieve net zero, I believe that power needs to be generated by multiple sources such as hydro, solar, wind etc. The challenge for a lot of this is reliability, what happens with the wind stops?! This is why I believe that nuclear has a huge part to play in enabling the world to truly achieve its net zero targets. Nuclear can provide a long term, sustainable source of energy at a large scale. I believe nuclear, in tandem with other technologies, is the only way we will realistically be able to support the ever growing world!

Q: How do you anticipate the energy landscape evolving in the coming years, and how can our company position itself to stay ahead of the curve?

A: There is a brilliant and significant shift towards renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydrogen. This will require a significant enhancement and modernisation of the grid infrastructure with all countries. I will help diversify our energy portfolios, balancing traditional oil and gas operations with significant investments in renewable energy projects and innovative technologies. I am excited to help continue the focus on recruiting specialists in renewable energy technologies, carbon management, and advanced digital solutions to meet our clients’ evolving demands within energy sector.

AI will evidently transform the way that all business operates over the coming years. What I have witnessed about Orion within my short tenure is that we are very supportive and quick to embrace new technology. I am excited about helping drive this forward!

Q: Can you share your philosophy or approach when it comes to developing new business opportunities and fostering strong client relationships?

A: My approach centers around understanding the unique needs and goals of each client. Building a client-centric strategy ensures that our solutions are tailored to meet their specific requirements.

I believe in cultivating long-term partnerships rather than transactional relationships. This involves building trust, demonstrating reliability, and consistently delivering value over time. I am fortunate that Orion has fostered this already over many years!

Q: What emerging technologies or innovations are you most excited about in the energy industry, and how might they impact our business?

A: One of the biggest challenges I see within most countries that are committed to renewable energy is developing the grid infrastructure to support it. Internet of Things (IoT) devices and smart grid technologies enhance energy efficiency and grid reliability. I see a growing need for professionals with expertise in IoT, cybersecurity, data analytics, and smart grid management.

Within the nuclear sector, the development of Small Modular Reactors is very exciting! One of the challenges of developing a traditional nuclear power plant is time and cost. It can easily take 15-20 years to move from concept to commissioning at great expense. SMR’s present a great opportunity to provide smaller, safer, more efficient nuclear technologies that can be developed and built a lot quicker.

Q: As someone with extensive experience in the industry, what advice would you give to someone just starting their career in the energy sector?

A: Don’t quit! I believe it takes a good 18 months to get up and running to the point where the individual confident within their market and credible with their clients. The recruitment industry has provided me with so many fantastic opportunities to support amazing energy projects that have had a real impact. Become immersed and be genuinely interested in these projects and the products that our clients are developing!

Q: Outside of work, what are some of your personal interests or hobbies that help you stay balanced and refreshed?

A: Two children keep me busy outside of work! We promote a fairly active lifestyle within our house so a lot of my time is spent entertaining and pushing my children into new things or developing their skills. I have no shame in saying I commit time to sitting on the sofa and do nothing but watch TV to fully unwind!

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers as you embark on this new chapter with our company?

Watch this space!

Q: How can our clients and partners best connect with you to explore potential collaborations or business opportunities?

A: I try and meet people as much as possible. Based in London, I can visit at ease. I attend trade events regularly so keep an eye out on LinkedIn for updates!