Sponsored by Exforplus
17 Feb 21. Members of the armed forces, support groups and charities will be attending the Hugh James Military Conference virtually this year, which will focus on the key legal, political, and social issues for the community.
Shadow Defence Secretary, John Healey MP will open the event with a keynote speech, which will focus on representing the forces, veterans, and their families in Parliament. He will discuss the importance of listening to the military community about the changes they want to see happen to make the UK the best country to serve and be a veteran. He will also reflect on the impact that COVID-19 has had on the forces, and what the pandemic might mean for the relationship between the forces and civilian society.
A key area of discussion will be the Overseas Operations Bill and the Armed Forces Bill currently being debated in Parliament, and the legal impact these Bills could have on the Forces, veterans, their families and the charities and service providers who work with them.
Also on the speaking line-up is Nicola Lester, a Consultant in psychological trauma. Nicola specialises in working with traumatic bereavement, and multiple fatality incidents. She has worked with a range of organisations including government departments, the private security industry, and statutory and non-statutory services both in the UK and overseas in Africa, the Middle East, Canada, and Afghanistan.
We will also be joined by Samuel T Reddy, who is one of the co-Founders of Tripotential – a ground-breaking scheme to place BAME military and uniformed veterans into key roles. The not-for-profit business will place individuals into meaningful employment after leaving the armed forces or blue light sector – and develop their leadership potential through training and mentoring. The two co-founders of TriPotential, Samuel T Reddy and Kul Mahay are from BAME and Commonwealth backgrounds, with personal experience of the challenges they want others to overcome.
The event will be hosted by Head of the Hugh James Military team, Simon Ellis. Speaking today, Simon said:
“Our Armed Forces operate in challenging circumstances, and need the highest standards of legal, political and social support. This year has been particularly difficult, with a global health and economic emergency compounding the pressures. Important legislation is also working its way through Parliament which will potentially further impact the community. This event will explore what needs to be done to provide the very best level of support to our veterans, serving personnel and their families.”
***The virtual conference will start at 10am on Tuesday 23 February and will close at 12:15pm. To register your free place, please visit the Hugh James website***
16 Feb 21. BuildForce: shaping military skills for a career in construction. Through a bespoke programme, backed by industry leaders, BuildForce matches skilled service leavers and veterans with meaningful careers in construction and the built environment.
For 10 years BuildForce has been championing the armed forces community within the construction industry. Through a bespoke programme, backed by industry leaders, BuildForce matches skilled service leavers and veterans with meaningful careers in construction and the built environment.
A Community Interest Company, BuildForce was established in 2011 as a collaborative industry led programme. The hugely successful pilot programme involved 6 major construction organisations (Carillion, Crossrail, Ernst & Young, Lendlease, Morgan Sindall and Wilson James) and was funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Ten years on, with the weight of the construction industry behind them, they are the largest nationwide military programme.
Achieving their Silver MOD Employer recognition Scheme award in 2020, BuildForce are proud advocates of the Armed Forces Community and regularly encourage industry employers to sign the Armed Forces Covenant.
BuildForce offers a wraparound service with industry specialists who map out a unique journey to support each service leaver and veteran in to their chosen career. Support includes training, mentoring, site visits and work placements, all preparing them for interviews and securing roles. The service is underpinned with mental health support, on hand to offer guidance and advice as the service leavers make their transition.
Caroline Logan, BuildForce Programme Director said:
BuildForce is simply matching military skills to construction demands. The broad spectrum of roles that the industry is seeking compliments the skillset the military train for. We talk about the parallel lines of a military posting and a construction site; working outside in arduous conditions which are often dangerous, being part of a team, the camaraderie, following orders, attention to detail; those transferable soft skills are what we are seeking.
A job in construction isn’t just about being on the tools (hard hats and building sites), it is accessible to all ranks and skill sets, and offers real potential for career progression. Having a framework that engages with and understands the individual’s needs and capabilities is what underpins the successful achievements of BuildForce to this day.
Richard Castell, Amey Operational Relationship Manager and BuildForce Champion has experienced first-hand the value BuildForce bring to the industry. He said:
Our sector needs talented motivated and reliable staff and those with a service background invariably fit the bill. BuildForce takes a professional, systematic approach to supporting veterans, service leavers, service spouses and reservists. In the 14 months since our initial involvement we now have a network of 26 mentors across the business and a team of senior recruiters who now understand the broader transferable skills of service personnel and can advise on opportunities within the business.
Army veteran David Duncan began his journey with BuildForce in January 2020. Faced with the challenges of a career transition during COVID-19, BuildForce guided and equipped David with the tools to achieve successful employment within his chosen industry.
David Duncan (Army veteran, 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment) served two tours of Afghanistan during his career. During his second deployment, David was shot in the face which eventually lead to medical discharge in September 2012. After leaving the military he went on to travel the world and upon his return to the UK worked in the travel industry.
While working full time in the travel industry and raising a young family, David also completed a number of Safety qualifications with the view of pursuing a career in the Health and Safety industry. In January 2020, David got in touch with BuildForce to support his career aspirations and transition into the construction industry. Not long after, Covid-19 meant that David was put on furlough by his employer in the travel industry, at which point he focussed on his career development, completing 15 professional safety qualifications.
Over the course of his furlough, BuildForce secured David a work placement with Wates Group, working closely with their Health and Safety Director, who also served as David’s mentor.
In a bid to gain further construction experience, BuildForce connected David with health and safety professionals in his area arranging an additional work placement, where David could better understand the role of a health and safety manager on site.
Through the combination of work placements, mentoring, David’s determination and the BuildForce support network, David is now a health, safety and environmental advisor with major homebuilder, Vistry Group. Vistry Group has since highlighted David’s adaptability, intuitiveness, and his ability to be comfortable in the uncomfortable, all military transferable skills.
Reflecting on the past 10 years, BuildForce Chief Executive Angela Forbes said, “We set out to formally connect our Service personnel with the construction industry. We’ve now established entry routes into industry with greater transparency on careers available. David is a great example of this. We want to serve those who have served our country and will continue to champion the employment of our service leavers and veterans throughout all areas of the construction industry.”
Reflecting on his career transition David said, “I can say with absolute confidence that without the support, both in person and virtually from BuildForce, I would not have been able to gain employment in the construction industry as a Health and Safety Professional.” (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
ExFor+ CIC is a relatively new organisation but has been established with the objective of becoming a National overarching organisation within the Veterans Support Sector. Our aim is to bring about, positive Social and Economic change for the country as well as a significant
transformation of how Service leavers, Veterans, their families and communities are supported. We will do this through effective collaboration, communication and management of a number of services and departments, ranging from engaging with Government, The Third sector and also the supporters of, those who’ve served and often sacrificed so much for their country. We are currently supporting a number of service leavers and veterans with a range of issues ranging from housing, unemployment, benefits, personal development, education, and are constantly looking for employers who see the positives in recruiting and supporting individuals in to work to create longterm and sustainable futures.