Nick Channer

Wilson James

Nick Channer becomes BuildForce’s 100th job start

Security and logistics specialist, Wilson James is pleased to announce it has appointed Nick Channer OBE as a new member of its Operational Board. In a newly created position, he will work with Wilson James’ Strategic and Operational Boards, facilitating collaboration and efficiency across the business, and taking on direct responsibility for Business Performance. Nick joins Wilson James after a 35-year career in the British Army; he retired from the position as Chief of Staff at Headquarters British Forces Germany in
March 2018.
‘I am really delighted to have been appointed to this challenging role and to have joined the Wilson James team. BuildForce made a massive difference to me during my transition and I would encourage other Service Leavers to approach the organisation, even those who may not directly be considering a career in construction – the span of opportunities is much wider than some might think.’

This appointment holds additional significance to the organisation as it represents the 100th permanent job offer engineered by BuildForce, of which Wilson James is a founding partner. Gary Sullivan OBE, Chairman of Wilson James:

“Nick is joining Wilson James at a very exciting time, as our business continues to grow and develop capability. Recruiting Nick through BuildForce is also very special; as co-founders and supporters, it is great to know BuildForce can deliver exceptional individuals like Nick who will, I am sure, be an Ambassador for Service Leavers going forward.”

BuildForce is a collaborative industry-led programme, part-funded by the CITB, with an objective to reduce skills gaps in the construction industry whilst offering a second career to military personnel by connecting the military community to construction careers through a UK-wide BuildForce Alliance of employers, industry bodies and charities, supported by Government. BuildForce has also created a unique national network of Mentors, drawn from the BuildForce Alliance to support Service Leavers and Veterans looking for careers in construction. Mentoring is an essential part of the BuildForce process, providing one-to-one support and guidance throughout the journey from military to civilian life. Andy Parker, Director of Defence, Morgan Sindall and another BuildForce founding partner was Nick’s Mentor and was instrumental in developing Nick’s perception of the construction sector, identifying areas in which his expertise could be used.

Angela Forbes, Chair of BuildForce and Commercial Director of Lendlease added:

“This is a fine example of BuildForce working brilliantly with our Service Leavers – attracting Nick’s calibre and unique skillset strengthens our own Industry. We will continue to bring in the diverse talents of our Service Leavers into Construction and look forward to our next 100.”

Founded in 2012, the current phase of BuildForce commenced late 2016 and has:
• Engaged over 750 and inducted 321 Service Leavers and Veterans
• Paired 335 Service Leavers with industry mentors
• Arranged 545 interviews (includes mock/practice, work placement, insight days and first & second employment interviews)
• Resulted in 109 job starts and 90 work placements
• Signed-up 83 organisations to the BuildForce Alliance