CITB backs project helping Forces veterans enter construction industry
Former members of HM Armed Forces recently showcased their unique talents at a networking event hosted by Barclays Bank in Manchester. Project RECCE works with veterans and those getting ready to leave the Armed Forces, supporting them to pursue careers in construction.
Project RECCE graduates have already gone on to gain sustained employment with companies like Balfour Beatty and Lendlease. Among those attending Friday’s networking event were the first programme graduates of 2020 who are now pursuing jobs in construction.
Having left the Army 10 years ago, former sniper Matt Crimes completed his Project RECCE training and was quickly recruited as a telehandler. Since completing training, he has gained his SMSTS qualification and is currently completing an NVQ in Site Logistics.
Matt says the programme provided the structure and support he needed to enter construction, addressing head-on important topics like mental well-being. RECCE also builds on the sense of community that is so strong in military life.
Says Matt, ‘I’ve now worked in construction for 18 months off the back of my Project RECCE training and the peer support offered will help me continue to build my career.’
Former Army PTI James Martin has also been supported by the team. He says: ‘Project RECCE is absolutely cracking. It built up my confidence, which has helped me push for new opportunities at work. I’ve chosen to work in construction because it is stimulating and there are good, well-paid roles available.’
CITB is backing Project RECCE as a prime example of a small social enterprise with its roots in the community helping to close the skills gap and find work for talented individuals from outside the construction industry.
Project RECCE operations director Loz Moore, himself an Army veteran, continues: ‘People who have served in the Armed Forces have already demonstrated they have commitment, courage and loyalty – and aren’t afraid of hard work. However, they also have other skills that are transferable to a career in the construction industry. They will have demonstrated their leadership and people-management abilities, and might also have gained technical skills that will make them a valuable addition to any company’s workforce.’
Balfour Beatty, a signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant and a Gold Status employer under the MoD’s Employer Recognition Scheme, is a major supporter of Project RECCE, supporting all ex-military personnel, including those still serving and in resettlement. Balfour Beatty’s emerging talent manager, Tony Ellender, himself a veteran, says: ‘We are pleased to work with Project RECCE and CITB to offer upskilling opportunities for Armed Forces personnel and help them prepare for a career in the construction industry. What makes Balfour Beatty unique is the expertise and capability of its people. Attracting and retaining the best talent from all backgrounds is key to building a high-performance culture.’
About Project RECCE
Project RECCE is a programme designed in partnership with the Royal Foundation, The Armed Forces Covenant Fund and Balfour Beatty, aimed at delivering ex-military personnel into the construction industry.
CITB is the Industrial Training Board (ITB) for the construction industry in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). It uses its research and labour market intelligence to understand the sector’s skills needs, and works with industry and government to make sure construction has the right skills, now and for the future.
CITB is modernising its funding approach to invest in areas that will deliver the best returns for industry, and enable the sector to attract and train talented people to build a better Britain.