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Iain Duncan Smith backs call for ex-military personnel to fill the construction skills gap

Iain Duncan Smith backs call for ex-military personnel to fill the construction skills gap

Chartered Institute of Building | Chartered Institute of Building

3 min read Partner content

Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has today endorsed plans to encourage former service personnel to take up careers in construction. 

Ahead of Armed Forces Day, which takes place 27 June, the Chartered Institute of Building is highlighting opportunities in construction management for those leaving the armed forces.

The move was welcomed by the Work and Pensions Secretary in an article for PoliticsHome, in which he described the initiative as “inspiring”.

He wrote: “We owe the men and women who have served this country a huge debt of gratitude, and will do everything we can to make the best use of their skills after they leave the forces…

“I applaud the Chartered Institute of Building, who have recognised the benefit of hiring ex-forces members for their industry. This is a cohort of people with skills that many employers could benefit from. We have record employment in this country. Let’s make sure our ex-servicemen and women can enjoy record employment as well.



Iain Duncan Smith MP: Helping veterans move into meaningful employment 


Over recent years significant cuts to the number of military posts has seen large numbers of ex-service personnel entering the job market.                                                                                                                                       

In the UK, current projections suggest that over 20,000 individuals leave the armed forces every year, while the latest employment forecasts predict that construction will need to find almost 224,000 new recruits by 2019.

Management skills will be some of the most sought after in the sector, with almost 17,000 managers expected to be needed over the next four years as growth continues.

Bridget Bartlett, Deputy Chief Executive at the CIOB said: “Men and women who have served in the military often possess excellent leadership, team working, project management and problem solving skills, all of which are highly sought after in the construction industry. There are plenty of opportunities for those leaving the armed forces to begin a new career in construction and that is not limited to trade skills but also at the management level.

“A large number of CIOB members are either serving in or have had a background in the military. What is encouraging is to see employers within the industry readily engaging with the armed forces community and we are keen to work with them and the military to increase the accessibility of construction management careers.”

The CIOB offers a number of routes into a professional chartered career in construction for serving or ex-military personnel, depending on experience and qualifications.

Military qualifications such as an HNC in Military Clerk of Works or Design Draftsman Class 1 are recognised by the CIOB for its membership programmes.

Within the sector, Persimmon Homes have announced a formal recruitment drive to retrain up to 500 ex-military personnel. Additionally, research by Morgan Sindall suggests that 10% of its employees either have direct or family connections to the military.

Further information about the armed forces route into membership can be found at: -

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