Press release

Returning troops can get Britain building

Housing Minister issues call to arms to the nation’s former servicemen and women to consider new careers building the nation’s homes.


Brandon Lewis with personnel at the BuildForce recruitment event.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has today (30 June 2015) issued a call to arms to the nation’s former servicemen and women to consider new careers building the nation’s homes.

Housebuilding levels are now more than double those seen in 2009 – meaning developers need more skilled workers than ever.

Mr Lewis argued that men and women who have served our country in our armed forces are well-equipped with the skills that the industry needs – such as opportunities in construction, civil engineering and the built environment sector.

He said that anyone looking to make a return to ‘Civvy Street’ could carve out a successful career in construction – with an industry ready and willing to take them on.

From combat to construction

The housebuilding industry was devastated by the 2008 economic crash, leading to the loss of a quarter of a million construction jobs.

That’s why the government has placed housebuilding at the heart of its long-term economic plan – and it’s working with starts now at their highest since 2007.

Brandon Lewis told armed forces leavers that this means now is one of the best times to build a career in the construction industry.

Mr Lewis attended a BuildForce recruitment event at RAF Northolt, and spoke to ex-services personnel who are looking to start new careers.

Nearly 20,000 people leave the armed forces each year, ready to bring their considerable skills and experience to ‘Civvy Street’.

The regular events offer the chance for people to look beyond bricklaying to see the vast range of skilled jobs on offer and hear form ex-military personnel who work in construction.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:

Our efforts have got Britain building with starts at their highest annual level for nearly 6 years, creating thousands of jobs across the country.

The brave men and women in uniform who have served their country in our armed forces should be at the front of the queue for skilled construction careers when they return to Civvy Street.

Steve Radley, Director of Policy at Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), said:

BuildForce helps ex-servicemen and women take the skills they’ve learned in the forces into construction, where they can build the hundreds of thousands of new homes Britain needs.

The project’s success lies in the strong partnership between industry and the military, which CITB is proud to fund and support. The construction sector needs over 200,000 talented new workers in the next 5 years, and there are rewarding careers available for people of every background and experience.

Further information

BuildForce is a new initiative aimed at supporting armed forces leavers considering a career in construction.

BuildForce have strong links with the highly successful Career Transition Partnership which assists service leavers in translating their acquired skills, experience and qualifications into the second career they aspire to and in finding them sustainable employment when they leave the armed forces.

Part-funded by the CITB Growth Fund and delivered by the charity Construction Youth Trust, CITB and Circle Three Consulting with the Career Transition Partnership.

The collaborative employer-led partnership has employer partners including Lend Lease, Carillion, Crossrail, Morgan Sindall and Wilson James, plus employers in their supply chains.

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Published 30 June 2015