Why it pays to recruit ex-servicemen and women

11 June 2018 | By Andy Parker, Morgan Sindall

Andy Parker, Morgan Sindall’s director of defence, on the value of employing ex-servicemen and women.

Andy Parker

Forecasters predict that more than 230,000 new recruits will be needed by 2020 to meet construction’s needs.

As a major contractor, Morgan Sindall has led a number of initiatives to address the skills challenge. In 2013 we became a founding partner of BuildForce, an alliance of employers, industry bodies and charities that support military service leavers to gain experience in construction. It recognises that their skills are directly transferable and relevant to the construction industry.

Each year, approximately 14,000 military personnel leave the armed forces. During their careers, many will have experienced challenging, high-pressure environments that demand qualities such as teamwork, leadership and project management.

This professional training is invaluable and often makes them ideally suited to a second career in the construction industry. With all new ex-military employees, where required, we ensure that they receive the right training for the role they are recruited into.

I have experienced this transition first hand. I started my 27-year RAF career as an airman, progressing through the ranks before being commissioned in 2001. During my service, I undertook management roles both in the UK and overseas. I then went on to specialise in infrastructure, completing my master’s degree in facilities management before leaving the service in 2010.

I understand how ex-military personnel can quickly become effective employees and adapt their skills to suit the demanding conditions of a construction site. There are immeasurable benefits on offer from service-leavers and existing veterans in this industry.

Across the UK, Morgan Sindall has formed partnerships with military charities and organisations to connect service leavers with training and job opportunities. Our South West Region has partnered with the Royal Marines Charity, enabling several Royal Marines to secure work placements on major construction sites in the region.

Morgan Sindall recognises that former military personnel acquire highly sought-after, transferable skills and we encourage service leavers to consider the opportunity to start a rewarding second career in the construction industry.


it’s a pity construction workers don’t get the same pension rights the armed forces do.

Paul James, 18 June 2018

From my experience , the people who have been trained in army life there are very very few who have skills that are transferable to the UK or international construction Industry and eventually cost the British Tax payer a whole heap of money to rectify work that they are involved with .
Most companies who are committed to employing ex-servicemen regret the fact , as many are neither commercially or technically competent .

The problem that really exist is that the government has never recognized the need for training either at trade level or managerial level in the UK and therefore sort cut methods to find skilled UK workers .

Keith Gough, 18 June 2018

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