Partnership supports Armed Forces veterans to build a new future


29 Jun 2022

A life-changing new initiative is supporting veterans in the North East for a career in the construction industry.

Armed Forces Veterans

A life-changing new initiative is supporting service leavers and veterans in the North East to train and develop skills for a career in the construction industry.

National Highways delivery partner Costain began the project in 2022 with charity Building Heroes. The charity, a recent winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for promoting opportunity through social mobility, is also providing employment support into a new career in construction by working with Costain and National Highways’ supply chain companies for careers training, work experience and employment. 

The new on-site academy is located at Blaydon Hub, which is used as offices and a visitor centre for National Highways’ upgrades of the A1 between Scotswood and North Brunton and Birtley to Coal House. These projects are being delivered by Costain. 

To date three groups of candidates have undertaken the five-week custom-designed course leading to an NVQ in construction and civil engineering, as well as a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card that allows them to go straight in to work on a site.

One candidate from the second group has even been able to go straight into work for Costain as a materials laboratory assistant on graduation. Others are undergoing work experience or exploring employment opportunities with a variety of different supply chain companies in the region.

The partnership also involves education provider Learning Curve and Launchpad, a charity that provides accommodation and support for homeless veterans in Newcastle. The charity helps people that have encountered difficulties since leaving the services through the programme and back into work.