As part of an initiative to attract former service personnel into the construction industry, Coleg Cambria, Deeside, North East Wales; is hosting a ‘Forces in Construction Insight Day’ on October 10th.
Organised by the CITB, Kier, the MoD’s Career Transition Partnership and the college itself; the event is being backed by a wealth of construction companies and showcases employment, career and training opportunities.
The conference will also feature sessions on transitioning into construction and training/adapting skills learnt in the forces to suit the sector, all rounded off by a presentation of success stories.
The event is one of several under the umbrella of BuildForce. Launched in January 2017, BuildForce is an alliance of construction employers, industry bodies and service charities, supported by the Government. It aims to connect service leavers and veterans with job opportunities in construction and give construction employers access to a unique pool of armed forces workers.
With 44% of respondents in the Federation of Master Builders’ House Builders Survey 2018 experiencing shortages of skilled trades, while 14,000 people leave the services every year; many believe the opportunity to help bridge the gap is clear.
Many of the skills veterans have are transferable; they are used to an active and fast paced lifestyle, a high degree of self-reliance and initiative; the ability to work in teams or independently; and being at ease with giving and taking orders. Other desirable traits for employers include: time-keeping, presentation, quality workmanship, discipline, attention to detail and the ability to focus on targets.
Several of the finalists who competed at the recent BMI Apprentice of the year competition in June had service experience. One such was Tom Thompson, who was Highly Commended in the BMI Redland pitched roofing category of the competition. Tom – also previously a runner-up, with a judge’s commendation, in the 2017 national SkillBuild finals – heartily recommends the trade to those looking for a new start outside of the forces.
He said: “It’s not nine-to-five, it keeps your mind going, hands busy and you can proud of the finished product. I would recommend it to anyone coming out – and say: never be afraid to re-train. There’s a lot of support available – I got tons from my tutor and the training is there from manufacturers like BMI too”.