Matters of Interest

Veterans Building New Careers After Service

April 25 2022

Armed Forces veterans are being given ‘a clear pathway into construction’ thanks to a British charity supported by Veterans’ Foundation funding.

£75,000 has been awarded to Building Heroes by the Veterans’ Foundation over the past four years and the charity has now designed a new highway maintenance training scheme for our military personnel.

The five-week intensive course with road maintenance company Ringway and Wiltshire Council will lead to a Level 2 Diploma in Construction Operations, paving the way to a new career after service.

Building Heroes’ founder, Brendan Williams, said: "After many years in the Armed Forces, people need a step into their next career.

"Construction provides a really strong career pathway and is a perfect match for many ex-service men and women."

According to Ministry of Defence statistics, around 14,000 people left the UK Regular Armed Forces in 2021 and this "essential" qualification for the construction industry goes some way to easing the transition back into civilian life for many of those veterans.

Each trainee will be given work experience during the programme and will be guaranteed an interview on completion.

Former soldier Sean Symons said: "I feel like this could be a really good career path for me."

Sean, 40, served for 24 years as a Sergeant in the Five Rifles battalion and has recently come to the end of his service period.

"Being in the army is a very challenging and rewarding career, but recently I have had a baby with my wife and I'm ready for some family time," he said.

"I will miss serving my country, however, construction will allow me to work in a close team again, which I love.

"It's a new challenge that I am very much looking forward to, Building Heroes have presented me with a great opportunity."

Building Heroes was founded back in 2014 and the charity supports service leavers, veterans, reservists and military families.

It provides training to give people a broad range of trade skills and connects them with potential employers.

Mr Williams said he had been "very impressed" with the trainees’ efforts in the programme.

"They are incredibly resilient, reliable and their time-keeping is impeccable. They will work until the job is done," Mr Williams added.

"I don't know any organisation that wouldn't want to employ people with skills like this."

More than £10 million in grants has now been awarded to 330 different UK-based Armed Forces charities by the Veterans’ Foundation.

Building Heroes have received four grants from the VF in the past four years and that is only possible thanks to the players of the Veterans’ Lottery, whose generosity funds these grants to life-changing projects.

To find out more about the Veterans’ Lottery and to help our veterans while playing for a brand new £50,000 rollover jackpot, click the button below:

Play Veterans' Lottery

Read more