Eleven military veterans have graduated from a groundbreaking property maintenance course which will give them the skills to launch a new career.

The veterans have gained practical skills in bricklaying, plastering, wall tiling, decorating, joinery and plumbing during an intensive course at Reaseheath College in Nantwich. The training was delivered by Reaseheath’s construction department in partnership with armed forces training charity Building Heroes and start up national handyman service, Heroes 4 Hire-Handymen.

The new partnership aims to provide a training pathway for some of the 120,000  Unemployed veterans in Britain today looking for alternative careers. The new graduates are already employed by H4H-Handymen, which has just launched its national Handyman Property Maintenance Services and aims to provide 420 jobs for ex-servicemen and women over the next two years.

As well as delivering a worthwhile service to homeowners, the veterans will be helping to address a pressing skills shortage within the construction industry. In addition to their new skills, they also achieved a Level 1 Certificate in Health and Safety in the Construction Environment and the required Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card.

Building Heroes, which arranges the tailormade training, has helped to support over 60 ex-servicemen and women into employment in the building trades in the past year. The new collaboration with Heroes 4 Hire-Handymen will see this number increase to 400 this year and there are plans to expand the training programme by opening more centres nationwide.

Reaseheath College is the second training centre to be appointed and will welcome its second cohort of veterans later this month.

Said Building Heroes Chief Executive Brendan Williams: “This a fantastic opportunity for service leavers to prepare for a worthwhile career in the building trades. The construction industry is facing a huge skills shortage and there is growing demand for well trained men and women. This is a win – win situation for all concerned.”

Confirmed Nigel Blanchard, Chief Executive of Heroes 4 Hire-Handymen: “These jobs are available now and we need well trained, willing and capable employees to fill them. These are the attributes many former Armed Forces personnel already have and we hope that, through our partnership with Reaseheath and Building Heroes, we will be laying down a foundation for these excellent recruits which will enable them to pick up a new and rewarding career.”

Welcoming the new trainees, Reaseheath’s Head of Construction Andy Gould said: “I am delighted at this exciting opportunity to be part of such a worthwhile training programme and we are proud to offer military veterans the chance of an alternative but equally rewarding career.”

Eddisbury MP Antoinette Sandbach, who presented the first cohort with their certificates, said: ”This is a welcome initiative which is offering military veterans the means to enter the civilian workforce. These men and women possess huge assets from their previous life and have already proved their commitment and dedication.”

Pictured: Antoinette Sandbach MP and Andy Gould join successful graduates