Every year, around 14,000 military personnel leave the forces.
Many will have worked ‘hands-on’, operating in challenging, high-pressured settings that demand teamwork, leadership and project management skills.
When you consider these qualities are also in great demand within the construction industry, it suggests a natural fit for many ex-servicemen and women, who often struggle to find suitable employment when they leave the forces.
The case is even more compelling when you consider that, by 2021, the construction sector will need to find 157,000 new recruits to keep pace with demand – according to The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).
But while logic is undeniable, comparatively few military personnel make the transition to a construction career. One of the main reasons is that not enough is being done to ex-servicemen aware of the opportunities available.
The construction sector offers huge choice in terms of the roles and career paths available – particularly to those who already possess the fundamental qualities required.
This particularly applies to the Somerset and Bristol area, which will be home to a number of nationally significant developments over the next decade.
Currently, over 26,000 people are employed in the building and construction trades in the West of England – and this figure is set to rise by 14% by 2020.
The biggest growth will be in the plumbing and electrical installation sectors, which will see a big boost due to projects such as Hinkley Point C and the electrification of the main train lines between London and Bristol.
And Weston College is in a prime position to enable former military personnel to adapt the abilities they’ve honed in the forces, fill these skills gaps and start on the path to a rewarding and successful career in construction.
Firstly, our facilities are second to none.
In April we opened our state-of-the-art Construction Training Centre – a purpose-built facility that provides specialist training in plant operations, groundworks, scaffolding, forklifting and logistics.
We also boast the South West Skills Campus. This is a high-technology centre with classrooms, workshops and labs that offer industry-standard equipment to give you the hands-on experience you’ll need to progress into the industry.
And our construction-related courses provide the perfect opportunity for ex-servicemen to re-train, with clearly defined career paths and progression routes, whatever your level of knowledge and experience.
As well as those offered at the Construction Training Centre, programmes range from bricklaying and DIY to construction in the built environment, engineering and carpentry – at a variety of levels.
The College also offer the industry-standard health and training courses that everyone working on a construction site needs – including the H&S Awareness and CSCS Labourer Card.
We have outstanding links with construction businesses throughout the region and beyond, which gives you a head-start in the employment market once you’ve finished your training.
And we understand how daunting it can be to take your career in a different direction. That’s why our outstanding staff are always on hand to give you the support, advice and guidance you need to make an informed decision about course and career path that suits you.
One of our former students, Kevin, chose to retrain as a plasterer after leaving the army and being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He says the support and guidance of staff helped turn his life around and allowed him to start his own plastering business, which also raises money for injured army personnel.
Kevin said: “I’d always struggled academically and suffered a number of problems after leaving the army, so it was a huge achievement for me to gain this qualification. Weston College has helped me move on and I can’t thank the staff enough.”
If you have any questions, call 01934 411 411 or drop us a message.