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CIOB backs military recruitment initiative

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) is throwing its support behind a cross-industry initiative to boost construction industry worker numbers by recruiting members of the armed forces.

This Friday is Armed Forces Day and the CIOB is supporting BuildForce – a cross-industry initiative to increase awareness of careers with the construction sector with armed forces leavers and veterans, and boost recruitment routes from the services into the industry.

A recent CIOB survey revealed that 77% of 700 construction professionals surveyed felt that ex-armed forces personnel could help alleviate the management skills gap in the sector.

It is estimated that around 230,000 new workers are required in the construction industry by the end of the decade. With three quarters of UK contractors working at or near full capacity, skills shortages affect not just trades but also led to a rise in demand for professional technical and managerial staff.

Around 20,000 men and women leave the armed forces every year, with the skills desperately desired to management roles within the construction industry. These include strong team-working leadership and communications skills and the ability to adapt to rapidly changing environments, work with people from diverse backgrounds and take responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of large numbers of workers.

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.”

Andrew Parker, Director of Defence at Morgan Sindall and Chair of BuildForce said: “With nearly 20,000 men and women leaving the armed forces every year, this provides a natural resource of managerial talent for employers. In many cases, ex-military personnel have already developed strong leadership and management skills, but may lack specific construction knowledge.

“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 part-funded by CITB and led by a group of founding companies: Carillion, Crossrail, EY, Lendlease, Morgan Sindall and Wilson James. Following a successful 18 month pilot, BuildForce is expanding to include more industry partners.

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