BuildForce is an initiative aimed at finding those leaving the armed forces jobs in the construction industry. It is coordinated by the Construction Youth Trust, championed by CIOB as well as several of O’Neill & Brennan’s supply chain partners including founding companies Carillion, Lendlease, and Morgan Sindall. It serves the dual purpose of helping military veterans find gainful and rewarding employment after leaving the armed forces as well as opening up new avenues for the construction industry when it comes to combating the skills shortage. Around 20,000 people leave the armed forces annually and as well as it being vital to help these people find new roles in civilian life, this is a largely untapped resource of ready-made planners, motivators, and managers.

The skills shortage in the construction industry has been widely publicised in recent years. It is a well established fact that many companies are in need of tradespeople as sites struggle to fill vacancies and wages increase as demand exceeds supply. What is less obvious is that this shortage is also felt at management level with less people having entered construction jobs and less people following the natural progression into site management and beyond, as well as the tendency for people leaving higher education to lean toward fields such as IT and Media.

BuildForce helps those leaving the armed forces to utilise their transferable leadership and organisational qualities to secure gainful employment in the construction industry as managers and decision makers. Because armed forces leavers are often still receiving a wage at the end of their service as part of what is traditionally called “gardening leave” to seek other employment, it is possible in many cases for companies to hire them on a temporary, unpaid basis. This brief work experience period gives all parties a chance to ensure that the candidate understands and is well suited to the role, minimising any risk of dissatisfaction for either the employer or their new manager.

A more detailed overview can be found here.