Ex-forces personnel enjoying successful careers in construction with Vistry East Midlands are encouraging others with a military background to consider joining the industry.
As the UK celebrates Armed Forces Week (Monday 22 to Sunday 28 June), Vistry Group announced it has signed the BuildForce Veteran Alliance Charter, strengthening its support for ex-military personnel looking to transfer their skills and experience into the construction sector.
Vistry Group – whose housebuilding arm comprises Linden Homes and Bovis Homes – employs around 100 former service men and women across the country.
Several of Vistry’s ex-forces employees work for the company’s East Midlands division, which is based in Peterborough.
Among them is 40-year-old assistant site manager Kieron Pittore, who currently works at Linden Homes’ Kingsley Place development in Barnack, near Stamford.
Kieron, who was previously a Royal Engineer at RAF Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire, said: “For those who leave the military, it can be challenging to hold down a solid job, as it’s often difficult to adjust from an adventurous and active working style to a new role.
“But there are huge similarities between the armed forces and the construction industry, one of which is just how much your day-to-day job can vary. I’ve found the vast variety of tasks I have to complete throughout my working day really helps to keep me engaged, just like in my previous job.
“With every day working on site, I learn something new. My past work has helped me to pick up carpentry and plumbing knowledge, which I’m sometimes able to apply during my work on site too.
“I view my working day at Kingsley Place as a team effort from my time in the Army, and I’m not going anywhere without my team. We all work very hard to provide homes of the highest standard.
“This industry really benefits from military personnel – they have great discipline and high standards – and I really think there’s a job for everyone.”
Kev Frances, a 58-year-old site manager from Cambridge, joined the military in 1989 as an internationally based Pioneer, and has been working at Linden Homes’ Brampton Park development in Brampton for the past four years.
After leaving the army, Kev joined the construction industry as a carpenter and has worked his way up through the ranks, securing 11 prestigious Pride in the Job Quality Awards and two Seal of Excellence awards from the National House Building Council (NHBC) in recognition of his work.
Kev said: “The construction and sales team at Brampton Park are like a big family, just like it was in the Army.
“Military employees are trained to be well-disciplined and organised forward-thinkers with great planning skills. We’re also taught to take orders and to perform to the best of our abilities, which is exactly what I believe has helped me to be successful within this industry.”
Rob Spittles, 47, is the Production Director for Vistry East Midlands, and is based at the company’s regional office in Peterborough.
He was employed by the RAF as a Combat Engineer as a 16-year-old and was promoted to Royal Engineer before he left at the age of 28 to pursue a career in construction.
Rob said: “I started out in the construction industry as an assistant site manager when I left the Royal Air Force, and I’ve worked my way up through the ranks since.
“The military taught me resilience, interpersonal skills, man management, communication skills, and how to keep a calm head in stressful situations. These skills have really helped me to achieve a successful career working for a very well-regarded builder.
“Since Linden Homes and Bovis Homes became part of Vistry Group earlier this year, it has presented an array of career opportunities in all different locations across the East Midlands. I would encourage those from a military background looking for a new career to consider this industry, as I believe it is an excellent path to take for those with a military skillset.”
For more information about careers with Vistry East Midlands, visit vistrygroup.co.uk.