Military leavers case studies

Military entrants

How they built careers in construction after the forces

For servicemen and women looking for rewarding careers in a challenging industry, there are plenty of opportunities in construction.

As well as their technical abilities, military leavers have skills in leadership, teamwork and project management which are highly sought after by employers right across the building sector.

Read on to find out how these returning members of Britain’s armed forces have managed to make a name for themselves in top construction jobs.


The Health and Safety Adviser

Name: Garry Frew

Work history: During his 26 years in the Royal Engineers, Garry worked on construction and infrastructure projects all over the world.

Following the completion of his NEBOSH safety qualification, he started work on a major tunnelling job in East London, before taking up his current position with Crossrail.

Garry says he loves how diverse and challenging the construction industry is.

The Health and Safety Adviser

The Director of Defence

Name: Andy Parker

Work history: When Andy hung up his air force uniform, he went on to work for Morgan Sindall, overseeing the firm’s defence construction division.

He had spent 27 years as a squadron leader with the RAF, and had also completed an MSc in Facilities Management at Leeds Metropolitan University during his service.

Andy says his experience doing similar work with the RAF helped him make the move to the private sector.

The Director of Defence

The Construction Manager

Name: Oliver Turner

Work history: Oliver worked as a carpenter before deciding to challenge himself with a stint in the Royal Engineers, which began in 2005.

Serving in Canada, Iraq, Afghanistan and Cyprus, he was able to build on his carpentry and electrical skills, making a return to construction a natural choice when he left the Army in 2011.

He says many of the same structures and processes are in place in his current role with Lend Lease in London as in his previous work with the army.

The Construction Manager

The Regional Operations Manager

Name: Sally Varley

Work history: Sally landed her job with Carillion after attending a careers event for ex-military staff.

With 24 years in the Royal Air Force and training as an air-traffic controller and an airport manager, she had plenty of expertise to offer, including personnel management and health and safety knowledge.

Now, Sally especially enjoys teaching young people vital safety skills and says she would recommend the industry to all military leavers.

The Regional Operations Manager

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