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Construction industry urged to put faith in ex-military personnel by the CIOB

Over the last few years the construction industry has seen a number of major changes, with skills shortages in key fields continuing to cause issues and slowing development projects. Whilst this has improved over recent months with many contractors beginning to reach capacity, a lot of work still needs to be done to bridge the gap and develop the industry.

As part of this ongoing effort, a major initiative has recently been launched by The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) to create a clear route into membership for those with military experience. Because of the discipline and hard-working nature that ex-service personnel are renowned for, this cross-industry initiative will look to increase recruitment from the armed forces into the construction sector with the hope of boosting future development projects.

This inventive move follows a CIOB survey of more than 700 construction professionals, in which 77% of workers said that ex-service personnel could help plug the management skills gap in the industry.

Over the next four years, just over 230,000 new recruits are needed in UK construction with the demand for professional technical and managerial staff still escalating. Chris Chivers CIOB President said:

“Construction is a people-based industry, and it needs leaders just as urgently as those with technical skills. For ex-military personnel, there has never been a better time to join the sector. Technological advances are creating new and exciting opportunities.

“But without a pipeline of new decision makers, the UK construction sector’s growth and global competitiveness will be severely under threat. It’s important that we act together to establish and strengthen recruitment paths across the armed forces, tapping into this very valuable resource, supporting our ex-military personnel and boosting the UK economy.”

Each year nearly 20,000 men and women leave the armed forces with a range of complex team-working leadership and communications skills. But as they leave the forces they often struggle to find the perfect career, left with the urge to manage people on a large scale basis and adapt with them to get the job completed successfully. It’s because of this personality that makes them ideally suited to many managerial roles in construction.

With this idea at the heart of their considerations, CIOB is supporting BuildForce – a cross-industry initiative to raise awareness of the construction careers with armed forces leavers and veterans. In support of BuildForce, the CIOB is creating accessible routes for armed forces leavers into a professional qualification that will help them gain management roles in construction.

When asked about this wonderful idea, Andrew Parker, director of Defence at Morgan Sindall and chair of BuildForce said:

“Our aim at BuildForce is to bridge that gap, alerting people to the opportunities in the construction sector at an earlier stage in their military career, providing access to training, mentoring and working with organisations such as CIOB to help them gain built-environment qualifications before they leave the services.

“We would like BuildForce to become the go-to organisation for enabling ex-military personnel to get into construction whilst also helping smooth the transition into civilian life.”

BuildForce is being formally launched at a CIOB parliamentary reception on 29 June 2016. To find out more please visit www.buildforce.org.uk

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