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Constructing brilliant careers after military service

Given that teamwork, resilience, and a strong work ethic are highly prized by employers, it’s not surprising that some of Britain’s leading companies recognise the value of recruiting people who have served in the Armed Forces. Morgan Sindall Construction is one of them and, alongside its sister companies in Morgan Sindall Group, has just been acknowledged for its commitment to making the most of the skills former military personnel can bring to the construction industry.

The business has achieved a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver accreditation with the Armed Forces Covenant for its contribution to a scheme that ensures current and former military personnel, and their families are treated with fairness and respect.

Morgan Sindall was able to apply for accreditation as it is a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, a partnership that exists between central and local government; the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force; along with businesses of all sizes; and several key charities.

As of 1 January 2023, the British Armed Forces had a total strength of 190,170 personnel, consisting of 147,620 UK Regulars and Gurkhas, 34,280 Volunteer Reserves and 8,260 people listed as Other Personnel. Around 14,000 people leave service careers in a typical year. Figures from the Office for National Statistics also show that on average 1.7 million households (7% of the UKs total) have a parent, sibling or family member who works for the British Armed Forces – which equates to around 710,000 military partners and 174,000 young people.

Morgan Sindall Construction has a long history of supporting service families, and many of its employees have a link to the Armed Forces, whether they are embarking on a career with the business, are serving in the Reserves or are partners of those serving in the Regular Forces. What’s more, many of Morgan Sindall’s supply chain partners have also come from a military background.

Sarah Boyd, director of HR said, “It’s very pleasing to achieve this milestone and it’s part of our on-going strategy to support this highly skilled community find opportunities in the construction industry.”

The process to complete the Silver accreditation was initiated by Andrew Waddington, senior technical manager for Morgan Sindall’s London and Home Counties team. Andrew has an Army background himself – having spent 19 years serving in the Royal Engineers.

Sarah Boyd and Andrew Waddington initially sought to complete the application on behalf of their division – Morgan Sindall Construction. But after hearing the positive activities that others across the Group had completed, they collaborated with colleagues to submit on behalf of Morgan Sindall Group.

Morgan Sindall Construction has a long track record targeting similar goals and is, for instance, one of the strategic founding partners of Buildforce, a partnership which began in 2011, dedicated to supporting service leavers and the veteran community, transition into trade and professional careers within industry. Over the years Buildforce has delivered work experience placements, career enhancing qualifications and long-term employment and in the coming months our team will be ramping up their local events and support to Armed Forces personnel and their families through the partnership. The team also works with local charities and social enterprises that support the recruitment and careers of military personnel.

“The conversations with our own military community have been really enlightening and provided us with the unique perspective of these families,” said Sarah Boyd. “In turn, we hope that by elevating their voices we can really showcase how the combination of a military mindset and the skills associated are all transferrable and fundamental to the success of a construction project. It’s another way of us embracing our Instinctively Inclusive approach, that when it comes to the work, we do there are different perspectives that mean we can look at a problem differently or learn from each other.”

Major General Marc Overton, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff said: “I would like to thank and congratulate the recipients of this year’s Employer Recognition Scheme Silver awards. A Silver award recognises the fantastic efforts of employers throughout the UK who have both elevated their commitments under the Armed Forces Covenant and provided actual benefit to the Armed Forces Community. The winners should all be proud of the life-changing impact and fresh opportunities they are providing to our Reservists, veterans, and their families. The number of winners this year yet again shows that the Armed Forces family talent pool is also providing tangible business benefit.”

Morgan Sindall will continue its commitment to our Armed Forces with a target of achieving ERS Gold accreditation and have already set the wheels in motion to achieve the required criteria.

The ERS Gold Award requires employees who are part of the Reserves 10-days paid leave to undertake exercise or training or to maintain their pay if they are deployed. Morgan Sindall has already committed to this 10-day requirement. In the hope that not only it offers opportunities for those a part of the Reserves and the business already but might also encourage those to join knowing that they are supported by their employer.

As part of Armed Forces Week, the Morgan Sindall Construction team asked a range of people from across the business associated with the military their experiences of resettlement, balancing a career with their Reserves commitments or those of the people who are military partners of those serving. It was clear that this group of people had a unique story and came across challenges that others may not face when they embark on or look to develop their careers.

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