With the construction industry facing a growing skills gap, there's more reason than ever to hire armed forces leavers.
Finding the right person for the job can be difficult. Many candidates can seem perfect on paper but it's harder to know how they'll work out in the long run. When you hire armed forces leavers you can be sure of their skill, discipline and commitment.
The armed forces are an excellent source of construction managers, surveyors, architects, civil engineers and tradespeople. As well as being natural team players, they're used to getting results in stressful situations. They'll also have received the most up-to-date training in their fields and are often well prepared for leadership roles.
The Army alone has the largest apprenticeship programme in the UK with more than 8000 people earning qualifications every year, many of them related to construction. Thousands of these skilled professionals leave the armed forces every year and as the construction industry goes from strength to strength, this pool of proven and motivated workers is more valuable than ever.
Finding armed forces leavers
You can sometimes find armed forces leavers through your usual recruitment sources but to do this consistently you'll need to visit specialist sites:
We have a range of marketing materials to help you encourage ex-military to enter construction and the built environment.
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Oliver TurnerConstruction Manager at Lend Lease
Oliver spent six years with the Royal Engineers, serving in Canada, Iraq, Afghanistan and Cyprus. He was a carpenter when he joined up and continued building his skills while he served, adding electrical knowledge and experience with larger projects.
He started his own carpentry business when he left the army in 2011 before branching out to work with a bigger team. Today, he’s a construction manager with Lend Lease and credits his army experience with giving him the right skills for the job.
“The work I did in the army and the work I am doing in the civilian construction industry have many similarities, with many of the same structures and processes in place,” he said.
“Returning to construction was the natural choice for me, and gives me a chance to use all the skills I picked up in the armed forces.”
Returning to construction was the natural choice for me
Andy ParkerDirector of Defence at Morgan Sindall
Andy had overseen major projects from the building of aircraft hangars, to the resurfacing of runways during almost 30 years with the Royal Air Force (RAF). When he retired from the RAF in 2010, it was only natural that he would bring his experience to the construction industry.
Along with an MSc in Facilities Management earned during his military service, Andy was well placed to take over as Director of Defence for Morgan Sindall. He’s now responsible for all of their defence construction in the UK.
Andy believes this is down to his unique mix of military and civilian qualifications:
“Although moving into the private sector created a huge challenge, it was reassuring to know that along with my civilian qualifications, my service experience and training was of value to a leading UK construction and infrastructure business.”
My service experience and training was of value to a leading UK construction and infrastructure business