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Former Armed Service staff encouraged into construction

The construction industry’s skills body, CITB-ConstructionSkills, has launched a new initiative aimed at making former servicemen and women aware of the opportunities that are available to them in the UK construction and built environment sector.

CITB-ConstructionSkills hopes to be able to capture the abundant skills of ex-Armed Forces personnel and put them to use to fill a widening skills gap in the UK construction industry. The initiative is also seeking to engage with employers of all sizes in the sector to regard it as a valuable pipeline of talent.

Research published in the organisation’s latest Construction Skills Network report showed that as many as 46,240 construction workers will need to be added to the industry by 2016 if construction demand is going to be fulfilled.

The 18,500 people who leave the Armed Services every year have many easily transferrable construction skills – including bricklaying, roofing and scaffolding – that they could gain further qualifications and training in through construction apprenticeships and training programmes.

David Duffy, the head of the Ministry of Defence’s Career Transition Partnership praised the initiative, stating that it will be invaluable to the industry and to the service personnel.

“There are leavers across all Services who are trained to a high standard during their military careers in artisan skills such as carpentry, bricklaying and metalwork and in addition, they bring a strong work ethic which will be an asset to the industry,” he said. “We are keen to work with employers to recruit ex-Service personnel into their organisation and promote their job opportunities directly to the pool of talent leaving the military.”