BuildForce, a UK-wide initiative to encourage military service leavers and veterans into careers in the UK construction sector, has appointed Angela Forbes as its new chair, succeeding Morgan Sindall’s director of defence, Andy Parker.
Forbes, one of the founding partners of BuildForce, is a commercial director at property and infrastructure company Lendlease, a role she has held since 2012. A long-standing supporter of the armed forces, in 2008 she created Lendlease’s Ex-Military Initiative, recruiting service leavers and veterans. She is also a director of Be Onsite, an award-winning, not-for-profit company dedicated to helping disadvantaged people find work in the property and construction sectors, and a former non-executive director of East Place and East Thames Partnership, a housing provider and social regeneration charity.
In her new role, she will lead the completion of the current CITB-funded and see BuildForce into its next phase of funding. She says: “Ten years ago I asked Lendlease for support because I wanted to do more to help our service leavers, veterans and our industry. Since then, BuildForce has grown into something quite remarkable. I’m honoured to be asked to be its new chair.”
BuildForce is funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and aims to help reduce construction skills gaps by helping ex-military personnel – through mentoring, work placements and training – into worthwhile careers.
Oliver Turner, construction manager at Lendlease, says: “When I left the Forces, the BuildForce network helped connect me with other former service personnel who were making the same journey into construction. BuildForce provided the gateway I needed to make my ambition of working in the construction industry a reality. It opened doors I couldn’t have otherwise.”