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London, 1st February 2017 - BuildForce goes live

News release

London – 1 February 2017

BuildForce goes live

CITB-funded initiative mobilised to help ex-military personnel find careers in construction

BuildForce (http://www.buildforce.org.uk), an industry-led initiative to encourage military service leavers and veterans into careers in the UK construction sector, ‘mobilised’ at the Tower of London this week.

The collaborative project, part-funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Structured & Flexible Fund, aims to help reduce construction skills gaps while helping ex-military personnel – through mentoring, work placements and training – into worthwhile careers.

BuildForce chair Andy Parker, an ex-RAF squadron leader now director of defence at contractor Morgan Sindall, said:
“UK construction needs to find over 220,000 new workers by 2019. With 120,000 ex-services personnel currently without work in the UK and around 20,000 more leaving the armed services annually, BuildForce addresses a very real need.”

CITB view

The CITB’s Mark Noonan said:

“The skills of ex-servicemen and women are ideal for the construction sector. Forces personnel are natural team players, used to getting results in challenging situations and often have excellent leadership skills.

“CITB is pleased to support Buildforce because the Armed Forces are an excellent source of construction managers, surveyors, civil engineers and tradespeople. CITB looks forward to helping forces personnel make a swift and smooth transition into a rewarding sector that has many opportunities.”

Military perspective

Maj General Richard Semple, Army chief information officer (and a Royal Engineer) highlighted the people needs of both construction and the armed forces:

“Military and construction are both very people-centric – we seek the same kind of people, so we need to collaborate over the talent pool. As well as Royal Engineers, Armed Forces people have a wealth of skills in fields including IT, logistics and administration that can benefit construction businesses.

“But please don’t poach our people. Take our people when the time is right. Think symbiotically. Let’s bring our worlds together and make the best of the people we have out there.”

Brexit and the ageing construction workforce

The 31 January event was also addressed by construction industry consultant Mark Farmer, who in his October 2016 review of the construction labour market (“Modernise or Die”) described the industry’s workforce size and demographic as “the real ticking time bomb”:

“Based purely on existing workforce age and current levels of new entrant attraction, we could see a 20-25% decline in the available labour force within a decade. This … would undermine the UK’s ability to deliver critical social and physical infrastructure, homes and built assets required by other industries to perform their core functions.”

Farmer highlighted the impact that Brexit would have on the ongoing construction skills crisis, but said the ageing workforce was ultimately more challenging:

“We are facing a shrinking workforce just when we need a growing one – so new sources of talent are vital.”

BuildForce was mentioned in Farmer’s 2016 industry review, which highlighted how jobs brokerage projects can provide opportunities for jobseekers from disadvantaged and/or under-represented backgrounds. Crossrail, a BuildForce partner, successfully placed over 700 local and unemployed people into work.

Even before the Go Live event, BuildForce has been hearing from service leavers and veterans looking for construction employment, and can claim some early employment and work experience successes:

• a former Regimental Administration Warrant Officer for the Kings Royal Hussars is now head of Carillion’s construction training centre in Bristol.
• a Royal Engineer, given the chance of two-week work placement working with EY on their Network Rail engagement, is set to join EY full-time in March.

Complementing other military employment initiatives, BuildForce is a construction-specific, industry-led programme. A national network of champions, ambassadors and mentors will support ex-military personnel into new roles across the construction and wider built environment sectors.
Echoing the UK Government’s ‘Armed Forces Covenant’, BuildForce invites construction industry organisations to sign the BuildForce Charter. By appointing individuals as ambassadors, champions and mentors, companies, large and small, can personally engage with service leavers and veterans and help them achieve long-term employment.

Founding partners Carillion, Crossrail, EY, Lendlease, Morgan Sindall and Wilson James were among the first to sign the Charter, and, prior to the ‘Go Live’ event, more than 20 companies had already signed up – including event sponsors Carey Group, the CIOB, HE Simm, Superior Roofing, the RICS, and VGC Group.

– Ends –

For more information
● contact Paul Wilkinson (PR manager for BuildForce): mobile: 07788 445920, email paul.wilkinson@ethosvo.org

Editor’s notes

1 BuildForce (http://www.buildforce.org.uk)

● Around 20,000 individuals leave the Armed Forces each year, most looking to apply their skills and experience in the civilian job market. Many of those leaving the Armed Forces are not aware of the opportunities available within the construction industry, and how they can use existing skills. BuildForce aims to educate, inspire and inform about the wide range of career opportunities in construction.
● BuildForce explained in under three minutes: YouTube video
● BuildForce will:
○ Promote careers in construction across the armed forces and veteran communities
○ Highlight to construction companies the benefits of recruiting service leavers and veterans
○ Provide information, mentoring, events, careers support and targeted training to service leavers and veterans
○ Promote job vacancies and work placements within BuildForce Alliance companies
○ Promote engagement through its BuildForce Charter. Signatories to the Charter become members of the BuildForce Alliance and identify individuals in their organisations to take on the roles of BuildForce Ambassadors, Champions and Mentors. For smaller businesses, this may be one person combining all three roles; for larger businesses, there may be one BuildForce Ambassador, more than one mentor and a single Champion

London, 16th January 2017 - BuildForce goes live on 31st January 2017

News release

London – 16 January 2017

[Save the date]

BuildForce goes live on 31 January 2017

CITB-funded initiative launches to help ex-military personnel find careers in construction

BuildForce (http://www.buildforce.org.uk), an industry-led initiative to encourage service leavers and veterans into careers in the UK construction sector, is being launched at the Tower of London on the evening of Tuesday 31 January 2017.

This collaborative project, funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and supported by the Ministry of Defence and Government, aims to help reduce construction skills gaps while helping ex-military personnel, through mentoring, work placements and training, into worthwhile careers.

Speakers

The ‘BuildForce Goes Live’ event will be addressed by Damian Hinds MP, Minister of State for Employment at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Major-General Richard Semple, the British Army’s chief information officer, will talk about how military service equips people with both specialist (design through to artisan) and generalist (leadership, management, etc) skills – plus values and standards – invaluable to construction employers.

The CITB’s Mark Noonan will cover training provision to support the military-to-construction transition.

And Mark Farmer, author of “Modernise or Die”, a review of the construction labour market presented to the Government’s Construction Leadership Council in October 2016, will outline his recommendations to make the industry more attractive to new joiners.

Andy Parker, director of defence at contractor Morgan Sindall, and a former RAF squadron leader, will host the event, which will also be attended by other service leavers and veterans whose military skills and experience helped them gain permanent employment in the construction industry.

The construction skills gap

In “Modernise or Die”, Mark Farmer described the industry’s workforce size and demographic as “the real ticking time bomb”:

“Based purely on existing workforce age and current levels of new entrant attraction, we could see a 20-25% decline in the available labour force within a decade. This … would undermine the UK’s ability to deliver critical social and physical infrastructure, homes and built assets required by other industries to perform their core functions.”

BuildForce is mentioned in the industry review, which highlights how jobs brokerage projects can provide enhanced opportunities for jobseekers from disadvantaged and/or under-represented backgrounds. Crossrail, a BuildForce partner, successfully placed over 700 local and unemployed people into work.

BuildForce

BuildForce chair Andy Parker says:
“UK construction needs to find over 220,000 new workers by 2019. With 120,000 ex-services personnel currently without work in the UK and around 14,000 more leaving the services annually, BuildForce aims to smooth the military-to-construction transition.”
Complementing other military employment initiatives, BuildForce is a construction-specific, industry-led programme. It aims to enable service leavers and veterans to find sustainable employment in the construction industry. The programme is developing a national network of champions and mentors to support ex-military personnel into permanent roles across the construction and wider built environment sector.
As well as the CITB, the project’s steering group includes Carillion, Crossrail, EY, Lendlease, Morgan Sindall and Wilson James.
Consciously echoing the UK Government’s ‘Armed Forces Covenant’, BuildForce invites construction industry organisations to sign the BuildForce Charter and, by appointing individuals as ambassadors, champions and mentors, to personally engage with service leavers and veterans and help them achieve long-term employment. Prior to the ‘Go Live’ event, more than a dozen companies have already signed up – including event sponsors Carey Group, HE Simms, Superior Roofing, and VGC.

Success stories

Through BuildForce, John Stevens, Salisbury, Wiltshire-based regimental warrant officer (senior HR manager) was put in contact with contractor Carillion. Stevens’s skillset matched an internal job vacancy for a training centre manager in Bristol, and on 31 October 2016, BuildForce placed its first service leaver into full-time employment.

In November 2016, Tom Scott, a serving Royal Engineer, started a two-week work placement, working alongside EY on their Network Rail engagement.

– Ends –

For more information
● contact Paul Wilkinson (PR manager for BuildForce): mobile: 07788 445920, email paul.wilkinson@ethosvo.org

Editor’s notes

1 BuildForce event, 31 January 2017

● The ‘BuildForce Going Live’ is a drinks reception and networking event being held in the Fusiliers Museum at the Tower of London from 6.30pm on Tuesday 31 January 2017. For venue and security reasons, the event is invitation-only, and media representatives will need to be pre-registered.
● Broadcast media representatives wishing to attend should contact Penny Jackson (mobile: 07973 342065 or penny.jackson@ethosvo.org); other media should contact Paul Wilkinson (mobile: 07788 445920, email paul.wilkinson@ethosvo.org).

2 BuildForce (http://www.buildforce.org.uk)

● Around 14,000 individuals leave the Armed Forces each year, most looking to apply their skills and experience in the civilian job market. Many of those leaving the Armed Forces are not aware of the opportunities available within the construction industry, and how they can use existing skills. BuildForce aims to educate, inspire and inform about the wide range of career opportunities in construction.
● BuildForce will:
○ Promote careers in construction across the armed forces and veteran communities
○ Highlight to construction companies the benefits of recruiting service leavers and veterans
○ Provide information, mentoring, events, careers support and targeted training to service leavers and veterans
○ Promote job vacancies and work placements within BuildForce Alliance companies
○ Engagement with BuildForce starts with the BuildForce Charter. Signatories to the Charter become members of the BuildForce Alliance and identify individuals in their organisations to take on the roles of BuildForce Ambassadors, Champions and Mentors. For smaller businesses this may be one person combining all three roles; for larger businesses there may be one BuildForce Ambassador, more than one mentor and a single Champion.

3 CITB (CITB or GoConstruct website, or both)
● Boilerplate copy to be added

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