Joining forces

Opportunities for ex-military personnel

For many years, a career in house building has been regarded as a natural progression after leaving the armed forces. There are many transferrable qualities that you learn in the military that are essential to be successful in house building.

Qualities such as punctuality, team building and being able to work in a team, the ability to work with people, time management, a strong work ethic and discipline, to name but a few. In some instances, you may already have experience of building as a result of your role within the armed forces.

As a result, most house builders have specific schemes designed to help ex-military personnel retrain and transfer into a civilian role in house building.

More than just building houses!

House building really is so much more than just building houses!

A career in house building can be incredibly rewarding.

As well as providing a wide range of very different career opportunities and job types, you will end each day knowing you have played a part in delivering something that will last a lifetime.

From flats in cities to cottages in the country; we build the high quality homes people and families across the country want and need.

We are constantly changing and adapting, meaning you and your job need to too.

What do we do?

As you might have guessed, the main job of a house builder is to build houses!

But it’s not as simple as it sounds, and the process of transforming an empty piece of land into a new, modern, thriving community is a long and complex one.

To successfully deliver a development on which people want to live, house builders have to employ a wide variety of people to do a lot of very different roles and work with many other parties.

Before we even start to think about building work we have to find suitable locations on which we can build new homes; we have to work with architects, planners and engineers to design great places; and we then have to work with existing communities and local authorities to make sure that the new homes sit in harmony with those already there.

How do we do it?

The process of building homes is a long and complicated. And because of that, house builders have to employ a wide variety of people to do a wide variety of different jobs.

To actually build a home we need engineers and site managers; we need people who can construct the individual parts of a home, from the foundations to the roof; people who work with the different materials needed in a house; bricklayers, joiners, plumbers and plasterers; and the people not actually on the site but in the office working out how many bricks we need; ordering them so they arrive on time; calculating how much it will all cost; advertising and selling the homes. All very different roles but all important parts of the team, and key to our ability to deliver new houses.

Working for a house builder can be exciting and very rewarding. But most importantly, it means you can help build homes that people need and are happy and proud to buy and live in.

Why do we do it?

In Britain at the moment, there are not enough homes for all the people and families that need them.

There’s a lot of talk about how we can fix this, but the only thing that will make a real impact is if we start building the amount of homes that are actually needed. We need to work with the government, local authorities and local communities to ensure that we all pull together and fix this problem.

But we need to make sure that the homes we build are not just four walls and a roof. They also need to be great places for people to live in, providing more than just shelter.

A great example of where we’re excelling in this respect is energy efficiency. We work with the very best people so that new homes are more energy efficient than anything built before. By doing this, not only do new homes stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, but they also help families save money on their bills each month!

We’re constantly working on new things to make new homes the best they can be, while also being affordable for everyone. To do this we have to employ the best and brightest from across the country.

Job variety

The process of building a home is very complicated and involves many different stages. This means that house builders have a lot of departments that do very different jobs. To find out more about what each department does, just click on the picture!

Variety of locations

The map below shows you where house builders have their main offices and regional branches. We work extensively right across the country in villages, towns and cities, and as a result we are working on thousands of sites at any one time. So don’t worry if you can’t find an office near you, there’ll be a development close by.

Retraining opportunities

To find out more about different employment opportunities and retraining schemes, go to our House Builder Directory for all the relevant contact details.

You could also visit the Construction Youth Trust website to find out more about their Military Programme. The programme was especially created for service leavers who might be interested in finding out what career opportunities are available in construction and the built environment.


New recruit Rob makes switch to the home front

Bovis Homes has recently recruited 20 new assistant site managers, including 17 ex-military personnel, onto ten-month development programmes that include a variety of courses and on-site mentoring.

Former RAF pilot and Military Guard, Rob Tarn, is one of those enjoying a career switch, and a new role in the housebuilding industry at Green Acres in Yarnfield, Staffordshire.

He joined the RAF in 2004 and spent the majority of his time there in the Queens Colour Squadron, serving on operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan and providing protection to ground troops and deterring enemy movement or attacks on camp.

Rob explained: “I was based in Kabul and led a team responsible for escorting VIPs, and also spent time on board helicopters manning weaponry in case of attack.

“I decided to leave the military, but after a few years went back and joined the Military Provost Guard Service, which is a branch of the Army. It was a non-deployable role and the shift patterns allowed me to spend more time with my family and settle down. My aim was to use the new routine to study and move into my real area of interest; construction. After some hard work gaining extra qualifications I got my break with this role at Bovis Homes.”

Rob is enjoying the challenge his new job offers and now lives in Shropshire with his wife Helen and three-year-old son Bobby.

“A large part of my work involves meeting with our customers and helping them during their customer journey with us,” he said. “Ultimately I enjoy delivering great quality homes and it’s fantastic seeing happy customers, knowing you helped to build them a home to be proud of.”

Walking onto a busy construction site at Yarnfield every day and helping to co-ordinate the delivery of those quality homes is a challenge which clearly brings out the best in Rob and makes full use of those skills developed during his years in the military.

“This industry requires you to keep calm under pressure, be disciplined and punctual, and have strong organisational skills and the ability to prioritise tasks,” explained Rob. “These are obviously all fundamental skills in the military, as is being reliable and helping to keep up workers’ morale to maintain efficiency and boost site camaraderie.

“So the move has felt quite natural and the basic ‘man management’ and communication skills I learnt as a junior officer come in handy on a daily basis. I actually enjoy being in difficult situations and learning how to overcome them.

“The job itself is extremely fast-paced and the daily routine involves driving forward our objectives to achieve key stages on the site programme. I have to ensure all Health and Safety inductions are carried out and that everyone on site is working safely and complying with regulations.

“I work with the trades to overcome any problems or unforeseen circumstances and I check the quality of work of all on site to ensure it complies with the required quality and standards we demand. I will assist in inspections, order materials, supervise crane lifts and generally oversee the site alongside the site manager.”

Rob is now looking forward to continuing to play his part in delivering quality brand new Bovis Homes and further developing his skills and career.

“The training I am receiving is equipping me for a great career with Bovis Homes,” he said “Things look extremely bright and positive for my future, I’m very happy where I am and on a personal level I am enjoying the home-life and work-life balance which I have never been able to achieve before.”

Persimmon Homes set to create up to 500 new jobs a year with ex-military scheme

Persimmon Homes, has announced a recruitment drive to bring up to 500 ex-military personnel into the business.

Persimmon Homes has 24 regional businesses in England, Wales and Scotland and is working with Nordic Focus Training, to retrain people from the Army
, Royal Navy and RAF in bricklaying and joinery.

Speaking at the launch, held at one of its developments in Durham, group CEO, Jeff Fairburn, said: “We have worked hard over the course of 2014 to develop this programme to help us meet a shortage of much needed skilled tradesmen across the UK.”

“Earlier this year we appointed a dedicated ex-military resettlement specialist, Tommy Watson, to spearhead the programme and we began welcoming the first of our new employees at the start of October. We are already on course to bring 500 new people into the business in 2015 and if our growth continues, we will repeat this in 2016.”

“The new recruits are all starting on an 18 month training programme with time spent in the classroom and out on site. Our courses welcome new people every four weeks and based on the recruits we’ve already seen we are very excited with the quality of the candidates and some of them I’m sure will go on to take management positions within the business in the future.”

Persimmon currently employs 3500 people across 24 businesses as well as its head office in York. Alongside trainee bricklayers and joiners, the company is also directly employing other staff with a military background into sales and management roles.

In 2013, Persimmon signed the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant and all new trainees will be encouraged to be reservists.

Persimmon will build over 13,000 new homes in 2014 and plans to open many more developments in 2015.

“As a business, we appreciate how hard our team works to support our growth and deliver new homes to communities across the UK. Each year hundreds of young new apprentices and trainees join us and I know that the latest ex-service people to join us will be welcomed by everyone.”