BDA Webinar – Project RECCE – Addressing the Skills Shortage – Employment and Opportunities for ex-Forces – Reviewed

September 28, 2023

The recent British Drilling Association (BDA) webinar titled “Addressing the Skills Shortage – Employment and Opportunities for ex-Forces”, took place 13th September 2023, at 1pm.

The presentation was delivered by John Davies, Chief Operational Officer of Project RECCE, and a veteran with 23 years of military service. John discussed the critical issue: the challenges veterans and service leavers face in finding meaningful employment and the untapped potential they bring to various industries, particularly construction and STEM.

John began by explaining the importance of employment for veterans, emphasising its significance as they transition from military service. Employment was highlighted as a crucial factor that can significantly improve the quality of life for veterans. John also talked about the need for change and that despite the value veterans can bring to the workforce, there are still veterans struggling to secure employment, and some employers have yet to recognize the benefits of hiring veterans.

John then moved on to Project RECCE’s unique approach, beginning with an overview of the organisation and how it focusses on a specific sector, namely construction and STEM, where veterans’ skills have a proven impact. John explained how Project RECCE not only connects veterans with employment opportunities but also provides vital mental and physical well-being support during their transition.

Project RECCE aims to repurpose veterans’ transferable skills acquired through military service, such as adaptability and resilience, for the construction and STEM industries, John explained, and that the charity strategically partners with businesses in these sectors to facilitate placements, mentorship, and training, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

Project RECCE’s Pathways into Construction Course was outlined, a two-week online course, designed to prepare veterans and service leavers for successful careers in construction and STEM. The course covers various aspects, including military values and their application to civilian employment, as well as self-leadership, mental health awareness, fitness, and nutrition. It also provides practical skills like CV writing and interview preparation.

The true social value of the project was highlighted, which through 2022/23 resulted in a substantial social value of £2.54 million, underlining the positive impact on both veterans and the construction/STEM industries.

John then moved to discuss ways the drilling sector could get involved, and why it is an opportunity there for the taking. John explained how with the critical issues facing the UK construction industry, including skills shortages and labour shortages, and how military veterans possess the ideal skill set to address these challenges effectively. Continuing, John introduced “ERV” a digital community where employers, military veterans, and service leavers can collaborate on employment matters, offering a platform for engagement and opportunity.

Concluding, John presented an inspiring case study that encapsulated the theme of the presentation that Project RECCE is a transformative initiative that bridges the gap between veterans seeking employment and industries in need of skilled workers. The charity’s holistic approach, training programs, and industry partnerships create a win-win scenario, addressing critical challenges in both the veteran community and the construction/STEM sectors.

A recording of the presentation can be found here, which you may also like to share with your HR Team or other personnel charged with recruitment.

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