THE director of defence at a leading UK construction and regeneration group believes veterans provide a "valuable and mutually beneficial solution" to the skills shortage facing the construction industry.
Andy Parker of Morgan Sindall, is ex-RAF and in an article with Construction News, he spoke about the skills shortage facing the construction industry and his own involvement with Buildforce - an industry-led initiative to inspire veterans to pursue a career in construction and strengthen recruitment from the Armed Forces into the industry.
The construction industry is facing a skills shortage of around 220,000 people and Mr Parker said he believed “the Armed Forces provide a valuable and mutually beneficial solution”. But he acknowledged certain barriers facing Service leavers and employers. He said: "The problem lies with understanding on both sides: what transferable skills can Service leavers and veterans bring to the industry and what opportunities are available in construction? Many companies have limited knowledge and experience of military career paths.”
Talking to Construction News about the skills ex-military personnel have to offer, he said: “Professional training speaks for itself, but it is the ‘personal’ side of training that is invaluable. This is more diverse and includes leadership, time management and teamwork – all skills that are difficult to quantify. Combine those with their discipline, determination and ability to work in demanding conditions, and former Service personnel can quickly become effective construction employees given the right industry-specific training.”
He added that he believed recruiting from the military is just the beginning and will not fully address the skills shortage: “We must continue to work hard to showcase our industry to ensure service-leavers and veterans see it as a good opportunity for a second career."