Thomas Ludovico served in The Corps of Royal Engineers, 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment, for a total of 8-years, leaving as a Corporal in 2023. “My role was a Plant Operator Mechanic, operating and maintaining all types of plant equipment ready for deployment. I was then posted to Pirbright, Training Phase 1 Recruits, as a Section Commander. My final 2 years were at Pirbright, where everyday was different. It was very similar to being a Project Manager with variations and unexpected situations to deal with. Also teaching recruits in various lessons for them to pass all the relevant tests in camp and in the field, being on exercise or in camp teaching weapon handling, drills, etc.
I am now a Consultant Project Manager, with Mace in the Utilities sector. I secured this role after registering with BuildForce, they supported me and put me forward for a role within Mace via their military network, which ultimately led to an interview and a successful offer. During this time, talking to other ex-military personal within the industry really helped me, along with attending BuildForce Insight Days and their webinars. It was about gathering as much information as I could, to give myself the best head start. Also BuildForce providing work experience and mentors provided great insight and really helped with the transition.
Some challenges I experienced included selecting the right courses, as there are so many different types of PM roles and sectors that you can go into, so selecting the sector I wanted to pursue (being construction) and what PM courses would be relevant for that. In the end I completed Prince2, APM PMQ and SMSTS using my ELCAS and connections through LinkedIn. I think what you put into your resettlement is what you get out, unlike the army nothing is given, and you have to really go out and get what you want to achieve.
I am currently, overseeing the utility projects, where we are making sure thousands of homes will be supplied water every day. A typical day is like the Army in some respects, it varies, with multiple projects running concurrently. With projects at different stages, I can be working through design with contractors to stakeholder engagement, and closing out projects, all on the same day. Skills I brought from my military career include leadership and problem solving, which can play a big part as not every project will go to plan. Also, team building skills, working with other departments to make sure these projects go out on time in a qualitative and in a cost-effective way.
Advice I would give to others leaving the Armed Forces is to build a path and do research before you sign off, have the stepping stones in place so you don’t waste any of your resettlement time figuring out what you want to go in to; the 12-months fly by.
Three words I would you use to describe a career in the construction industry – rewarding, challenging, commitment. And to describe a Veteran, I would say time efficient, proactive, committed.”