Campaign to attract former armed forces could plug skills gap

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The Chartered Institute of Building has joined a campaign aimed at attracting former members of the UK’s armed forces to the construction sector…

The skills shortage in the construction sector remains an ongoing problem. Now, a professional body has launched a campaign to plug the gap by utilising the skills of former military personnel.

With nearly quarter of a million (230,000) new construction workers needed in the sector by 2020, the pressure is really mounting. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) said former armed forces personnel could offer a solution, providing a viable untapped resource.

Data shows that some 20,000 people leave the military each year and have skills that could be transferred to the construction industry. In a bid to utilise this, the “BuildForce” campaign was launched. This cross-industry initiative is partly funded by the Construction Industry Training Board and led by founding firms Carillion, Crossrail, EY, Lendlease, Morgan Sindall and Wilson James. CIOB is the latest organisation to join the campaign, offering its full support.

The initiative ran a successful 18 month pilot, and is now expanding to include more partners from within the sector.

CIOB president Chris Chivers 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.”

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