Wiltshire College and University Centre in Salisbury is helping support military personnel into new careers as part of a training initiative.

Building Heroes is a training programme providing military veterans and those in their final few months of service with a broad range of skills suitable for a career in property maintenance.

Once training is complete, the scheme then supports candidates into employment in the construction building trades.

The college is one of the programme’s providers and runs courses at both its Salisbury and Trowbridge campuses, with applicants enrolled onto the part-time Foundation in Property Maintenance course.

The programme lasts for five weeks and runs approximately six times throughout the year at the College, with around 20 either serving or former service personnel enrolled each time across the two campuses.

Callum Reid is a member of the current cohort in Salisbury and currently serves in the 19th Regiment Royal Artillery based at Larkhill near the campus. He said: “I have six months left in the military and I am 90 per cent sure I want to get into construction once I am out.

“When this course came up, I had no hesitation in signing up for it. It’s really good, it teaches you all the basics in things like joinery and bricklaying. I thought it was perfect me. I still have a bit of time left but hopefully there will be a few opportunities in construction in the future. If there are, this course will help me get that little bit ahead.”

Matthew McKeeman, who is currently attached to aerospace, defence and nuclear engineering services company Babcock as an engineer, added: “I will leave military in the summer and I am looking to start my own business as an electrician and the skills I’m learning on this course will help that in terms of things like where wiring goes in relation to brickwork.

“It’s a really good course, everyone’s here because they want to use these skills for work so it’s great environment to learn in.”


Bryan Piper, who leads the Building Heroes programme at the College, said: “Many people who leave the military are looking to retrain and move into hands-on careers, and the Building Heroes scheme is a perfect starting point for those interested in starting out in the construction industry.”

To find out more about the initiative, visit buildingheroes.org.uk.

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