British cadets in training in Germany (Wikimedia Commons)

Industry calls on British Army to plug skills gap

20 June 2016 | By GCR Staff 7 Comments

A professional body has joined a campaign to attract former members of the UK’s armed forces to join the country’s skills-starved construction industry.

Nearly a quarter of a million (230,000) new workers are needed for the industry by 2020 and with fewer graduates coming into the sector, military leavers are a viable untapped resource that should be utilised, according to the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Currently around 20,000 people leave the military every year and many possess the skills and background needed for a successful career in construction, the CIOB says.

Ahead of the UK’s Armed Forces Day on 25 June, the CIOB, which accredits built environment management professionals around the world, has thrown its weight behind “BuildForce” – a cross-industry initiative to raise awareness of construction careers among armed forces leavers and veterans, and strengthen recruitment from the services into the sector.

BuildForce is part-funded by UK skills and training body, the Construction Industry Training Board, and is led by a group of founding companies: Carillion, Crossrail, EY, Lendlease, Morgan Sindall and Wilson James.

Following a successful 18 month pilot, the initiative is now expanding to include more industry partners.

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.”

A video explaining the issues can be seen here.

More information can be found here.

Image: British cadets in training in Germany (Wikimedia Commons)